Modern varieties of corn are different from the corn our grandparents ate: they’re sweeter and don’t require as much cooking time. Here’s my secret to perfect cooked corn – without a timer! Plus I’ll share two of my favorite recipes for perfectly cooked corn: summer tomato, avocado and corn salad and corn chowder.
Perfectly Cooked Corn Recipe:
- Purchase freshly picked, organic or non-GMO corn. Be sure to ask the farmer or retailer if the corn is genetically modified. If they don’t know, then assume it is and find another source.
- Remove the husks and silk from the cobs and add them to the compost pile.
- Place the ears in a pot half-filled with cold or lukewarm water. The ears will float.
- Turn the heat to high.
- Occasionally turn the ears so that all kernels spend some time immersed in the water.
- As soon as the water begins to boil, but before it gets to a full rolling boil, turn off the heat, drain the corn and cover with cold water so that it stops cooking.
Recipe 1: Summer Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
This is my standard summer lunch salad, which I probably eat 3 times a week during corn and tomato season.
Make a dressing by whisking together:
- 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 TBSP lemon juice or 1 TBSP red wine or balsamic vinegar
- Optional: Add 1/4 cup finely diced red onion or shallot to the dressing
Toss the dressing with the following:
- 2 chopped heirloom tomatoes
- 1 diced avocado
- 1-2 ears of cooked corn, sliced off of the cob
- Optional additions: chopped cilantro, feta cheese crumbles
This recipe makes 2-4 servings, depending on whether you’re having it as your main meal (which I do) or alongside another dish.
Recipe 2: Corn Chowder
Cut the kernels off of:
- 4-5 ears of perfectly cooked corn
Put the kernels into a container and refrigerate until just before serving time. Meanwhile, bring the following to a boil:
- 5 cups of water
- the bare corn cobs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme
Simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes and then you can just turn off the heat and either strain the liquid now or just leave everything to simmer together in the cooling liquid until it cools. Then sautee the following in a pot:
- 3 oz sliced smoked bacon
No oil is needed because the bacon will render its own fat. (Do *not* be afraid of the pork fat – it’s a very healthy fat, despite what you hear in the mainstream media. Research the topic on your own if you don’t believe me.) Once the bacon has some color, drain out some of the fat if you have too much and add to the pot:
- 2 leeks, sliced into thin half-circle strips
- 1-2 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 diced bell pepper
- 1/2 or 1 seeded, diced jalapeno pepper
Sautee everything gently for about 10 minutes until the leeks are very soft. Then add the following:
- 1/3 cup white wine
- the strained corn cob broth
- 3 peeled, diced yukon gold or red boiling potatoes
- 1 tsp of sweet hungarian paprika
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer gently, covered for about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can simmer the mixture for just 10-15 minutes, then turn the heat off without removing the lid. The soup will be ready for finishing in an hour, but you could leave it like this for longer if you want to prepare it to this point in advance and then just finish it when you’re ready to eat.
To finish the soup, heat the soup base back up and once it’s almost at a boil, add salt, pepper, 1 cup of heavy cream (also not fattening – non-fat milk will fatten you a lot faster than cream will!) and the reserved corn kernels. Mix over heat for just 1 minute and serve. Alternatively, if you want to ensure that the corn kernels do not overcook, you could just put the corn kernels into the serving bowls and pour the hot soup over the corn.