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Favorite Corn Dish

Summer is coming fast. That means corn. What's your favorite way to eat this quintessential summer food? Any special preparations beyond boil and butter?

This post was spurred by me eating some homemade esquites and thinking to myself, "Damn, this is good."

So my favorite is Esquites: fresh white corn cut off the cob, fried/toasted in pan, remove, add chopped red onion, garlic, minced serrano chile and chiffonade of epazote, fry and add back corn - salt pepper and optional crema, chile powder and or queso fresco.

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  1. not really a summer dish even though it's corn...but i loved dried corn pudding. My grandmother makes it every thanksgiving and it's tasty when there is no fresh corn to be had.

    I also like it grilled, slathered in mayo and then covered in cotija....holy crap is that tasty

    3 Replies
    1. re: bitsubeats

      I also love baked corn pudding at Thanksgiving, but dried corn is getting quite difficult to locate.

      My favorite way to eat fresh corn is roasted in the husks on hardwood embers and then slathered with butter and salt. If I'm in the hurry I tend tomicrowave it in parchment, as I don't like the mess of boiling it.

      1. re: Kelli2006

        I was coming to this thread to post exactly what you are both just did.

        I love corn pudding. I'm in Philadelphia and I can still get dried corn at the large market downtown, from the PA dutch vendors.

        In the sumemr I tend to just serve corn grilled with salt and butter. Simple I know, but oh so good.

        In the fall, shrimp (and/or lobster) and corn chowder.

        1. re: LaurCar

          I live in the Amish area of north-central Ohio, so dried corn is relatively easy to locate during most of the year. Corn chowder is a easy filly meal during the fall, but I desperately need tips to improve my corn bread.

    2. Fresh succotash. We do it with corn freshly cut off the cob, lima beans, bacon, onion, cherry tomatoes and some vinegar. It is outrageously good. I don't bother to make it in the winter, it just isn't the same.

      1. For corn on the cob, I like it with lime juice, chili powder and salt.

        Otherwise, corn is awesome in fritters. If you want something healthier, I like it in omelets, salads and gaspacho.

        1 Reply
        1. re: piccola

          Piccola, I do a pan-fried corn fritter that goes down a treat and cuts back severely on the oil quotient. Love 'em with homemade soup.

          It's pretty hard to improve on fresh corn, except by making it easier to eat. If you have the chance to buy a whole whack of fresh corn on the cob and invite friends over for a bbq, you can do what they do in the Maritimes: Cut the lid off a large can (you know, the big tomato juice ones), 2/3 fill it with water, add a big old lump of butter and heat it on the bbq. The butter melts and then when you dip your cob in and pull it out, it perfectly coats the kernels. Great non messy way to butter multiple cobs.

        2. Atol de Elote

          Corn on the cob (from the grill)

          Corn chowder

          Candy corn :-)

            1. Corn and eggs. Leftover corn browned in butter. Scramble the eggs with a little tarragon or herb of your choice, S & P. Pour the eggs onto the corn - hte hot corn will cook the eggs quickly.

              Obviously you can add more - sauteed onion or shallots and garlic are my most common. Sometimes I make it into a folded omlette with swiss (or similar) cheese in the middle. Using the Esquites sounds good!

              Corn and salmon chowder.

              1. Plain old fresh, barely cooked (al dente) corn on the cob... but I'll eat just about anything corn.

                  1. re: BobB

                    I've heard others talking about lobster and corn chowder, it sounds mouthwatering, where do you get yours in new england or do you make it at home? I'm headed up to Boston /Maine New Hampshire area this summer. I also need some good suggestions on finding the best fried clams. I've been to the Clambox in Ipswich. Love it!

                    1. re: susabella

                      I make my own. No set recipe, I just came up with it at a big family summer gathering a couple of years ago where we had some leftover lobster and I wanted to do something with it. I made a chowder base (onions, potatoes, butter, a little flour, milk), and added shredded cooked lobster and fresh corn kernels scraped off the cob. It was heavenly, and I've made it several times since by popular demand. I've also done fish & corn, and clams & corn, but lobster is the richest and best.

                      Search the Boston board for fried clam recommendations, it's one of the most popular topics!

                      1. re: BobB

                        Could I add one to the popular demand and ask for a quick recipe? Corn is my idea of the perfect food, and lobster is perfection plus. When you say it was heavenly --- I believe it!

                        1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                          I don't have a recipe as such, it's one of those wing-it kinds of dishes. Basically I just sauté some chopped onions and diced potatoes in butter and/or bacon fat, add a little flour, salt & pepper, and a bit of thyme. Add milk (and maybe some cream) and bring to a simmer. When the potatoes are about done I add the corn and (pre-cooked) lobster, heat briefly, and it's ready to eat. The proportions of all the ingredients are adjustable depending on what you have on hand and how thick you like it.

                          1. re: BobB

                            Just the description is delicious. Will try next week and if it comes out great (I'm sure it will) I'll name it after you in my recipe files: BobB's On-the-wing Lobster and Corn Chowder. Many thanks!

                        2. re: BobB

                          Thanks, that chowder sounds amazing and delicious, I will have to find or make some this summer. I'll check the boston boards for clam places, thanks for the tip.

                      2. re: BobB

                        For some reason, the first thing I think of when I think of corn is chowder. There's something Pavlovian about the way I respond, mainly because my dad never had trouble busting out a good chowder, especially a ham n corn one. Lobster & corn sounds fantastic.

                      3. Fritters! There's a restaurant in Pasadena, Saladang Song, that specializes in Thai street food, and their fritters are profoundly addictive...but I think any fresh-corn fritter would make me really happy. Truth to tell, just about anything you can do with fresh corn has that capability. What a lovely invention...

                        1. Tamales de elote

                          Corn salsa with fresh kernals of sweet corn, tomatoes, chiles, onions, garlic, avocado, cilantro, avocado, and lime

                          fresh Indio corn-of-many-colors grilled in the husk served with salt and lime juice

                          Sweet corn freshly picked and boiled in it's husk (moan!)

                          I'll try those esquites! May be on my next favorites list.

                          1. My vote would be for the fritters. With maple syrup!

                            1. Living in Illinois, one of the top states for corn in the country. I only bother eating corn on the cob for the approx. month and half it is available fresh from the fields(late summer).

                              I think boiling corn ruins it, so I most of the time steam it, or put it on the grill. served with butter and salt, and chow down on a few ears of corn a few nights a week.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: swsidejim

                                Try saving the water when you steam or boil. Reduce and freeze. Use it again and again, concentrating the flavor. Fairly soon boiling is great.

                                You can also use the corn water as a great broth.

                              2. I have 3 words: GRILL YOUR CORN...it is SO great grilled instead of boiled!

                                The only other suggestion is Epicurious' Crispy Shrimp with Corn and Scallions...excellent recipe using fresh corn! You have the somewhat salty/spicy shrimp over top the sweet corn.

                                1. Cut off the cob, tossed with red onion, basil, oil & vinegar, and S&P and served chilled.

                                  1. grilled corn on the cob -

                                    1. Quesadillas with some grilled chicken chunks, red bell chunks, lots of cumin, lime juice, and LOTS of super fresh corn kernels.

                                      1. My S-I-L's recipe is delicious, and a bit like Robert Lauriston's cilantro rice recipe. Saute fresh kernels cut from the cob with a little canola oil and ample minced jalapeno until the corn carmelizes a bit. Remove from heat, add fresh lime juice and lots of destemmed, chopped cilantro. Serve. Fresh, sweet corn is of course the platform for success. As they say, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear of corn or something like that, I get confused in middle age.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          When I was in college, and was an RA my hall director made us this amazing grilled corn. Corn soaked in salt water overnight-silks removed, but husks on. Grilled till they caught on fire. Really good. Dunked in butter. Even better.

                                          1. re: jenniegirl

                                            Yep...this is how we do our grilled corn except for salted water...I pull out the silks and soak in plain cold water all afternoon...onto the hot grill they go...the flavor is so smokey and delicious. You can also cook the bare cobs on the grill, too, with great results...I prefer it the soaked way, though.

                                        2. I really like the traditional Cazuelita Poblana... a sauce made from fresh corn, roasted poblanos, fresh epazote leaves, milk & chicken broth laced with braised with roasted corn kernels, poblano strips & slices of calabacitas and also including some shredded chicken for good measure.... then topped with melting cheese & baked at a very high heat until its a thick stew... served with tortillas so you make your tacos.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                            My heavens that sounds, well, heavenly. Could I substitute zucchini for the calabacitas, do you think? I'll have to see if I can find epazote. My friend is from the Dominican Republic and has a small market - he may have a source. I haven't yet tried it.

                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                              I'm drooling here. Do you think I could substitute zucchini for the calabacitas? No supply here, nor for the epazote leaves. Although I have a Dominican friend who owns a small grocery with some produce - he might source me some. That's if, of course, I can find some good poblanos... sometimes I miss living in NYC! Up here in the mountains it's pretty much ShopRite or nothing. :-(

                                              1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                Zucchini is a little bit more bitter than Calabacitas but I think the overall effect would be about right... you might want to add a little, well carmelized diced onions to compensate but I think you will like it with Zucchini as well.

                                                If you can't find Epazote then don't hesitate to use a little Basil & Cilantro....its not an equal substitution but it will still be very good...

                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                  EN, for melting cheese, will Oaxaca or quesadilla cheese do? Also, can I substitute Florida pink shrimp for the shredded chicken, and still attach you name as the original source? To me, sweet corn, poblanos, and sweet shrimp were almost made for each other, and we are getting wonderful corn in Florida now. Gracias.

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    Absolutely on all counts... although I personally really Queso Poblano which is very similar to Fontina... nothing special but it has a little bit more of a yeasty flavor & melts smoothly.

                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                      Splendid EN, thanks. I'll grate in a bit of asiago for good measure and extra flavor. I bought my veggies and shrimp early today in contemplation of a nice Veracruz dish tomorrow, but you have stoked my culinary curiosity and challenged my (limited) abilities, so tomorrow is d-day. I have never used milk with chicken broth (I may cheat further with cream), and I don't want to overdo the liquids. I have absolutely perfect poblanos, my favorite food.
                                                      Tendre cuidado, lo mejor que puedo. Esperame sueno; vamos a ver!

                                                  2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                    Thank you so much! I've printed out this part of the thread. So many good suggestions, and they all sound lovely.

                                              2. Barefoot Contessa has a great recipe with fresh corn off the cob, cider vinegar, olive oil, red onion, s&p and fresh basil. It sings a song!

                                                Fresh Corn Salad Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All rights reserved
                                                Show: Barefoot Contessa
                                                Episode: All American

                                                5 ears of corn, shucked
                                                1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
                                                3 tablespoons cider vinegar
                                                3 tablespoons good olive oil
                                                1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
                                                1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                                1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

                                                In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
                                                Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

                                                1. Add some kernels to homemade cornbread and polenta.

                                                  1. there's nothing like fresh picked corn!!

                                                    grilled with lots of butter and salt

                                                    corn budin

                                                    warm with mayo, lime, salt, and cracked black pepper

                                                    1. w fresh corn, I agree with the grilled and slathered in mayo and cojita


                                                      Creamed Corn

                                                      • 1 1/4 (16 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels
                                                      • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
                                                      • 1/2 cup butter
                                                      • 1/2 cup milk
                                                      • 1 tablespoon white sugar
                                                      • salt and pepper to taste
                                                      1. In a slow cooker, combine corn, cream cheese, butter, milk, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
                                                      2. Cook on High for 2 to 4 hours, or on Low for 4 to 6 hours.

                                                      1. Wow, those are such delicious sounding ideas!

                                                        My first reaction was, yeah, the basic corn fresh on the cob with lots of butter and salt. I also like a corn soup, which I incidentally had with some chopped wild garlic on top.

                                                        Now I can't wait to try out all of youz's suggestions :-D

                                                        (Alas, the German corn is not nearly as good as the American, and also not nearly as popular. Bummer.)

                                                        1. I don't think one of my childhood favorites was mentioned; succatash, fresh corn and fresh lima beans. I also enjoy fresh corn tamales, corn bread or pancakes w/ green chiles and the fore mentioned corn and lobster chowder. Summer also brings the clam bake with potatoes, lobster, clams and literally topped off with corn on the cob, drowned in butter, awash with beer! Will have for my birthday bash in 2 weeks!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            If only I could get the right type of corn for fresh (green) tamales. All I can find around here is that super sweet garbage that does not have enough starch.

                                                            1. re: Candy

                                                              The sugar converts to startch once the corn is picked, so you might want to try letting the corn sit for a day or two on the counter. The conversion is much slower when refrigerated. You'll have to experiment with it.

                                                              1. re: NYCubsFan

                                                                I have. the corn is a totally different variety, maybe i could steal a few ears of cattle corn from a field. Super sweet can never develop the amount of starch needed.

                                                          2. Another one to keep the thread alive.... Corn on the Cob simmered in Crab Chilpachole broth... I vaguely remember that you had that once...

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                              shit man! That soup was the bomb! Mmm...corn simmering away in that spicy crab veracruz broth! Promise me youll have me over again my friend!

                                                            2. Columbian chicken soup w/ corn on the cob (choclo) in it.

                                                              1. I also like the same mayo, cotija, pepper combination that others have mentioned before but I can't believe no one has mentioned macque choux! It's a staple in my house.

                                                                1. I'm surprised no one's mentioned fresh popcorn yet.

                                                                  1. Right now I am loving it grilled.
                                                                    There is also a salad I make using fresh corn, black beans, tomato, red onion, cilantro, ground coriander, cumin, OO, lime juice, and S&P. Yum.

                                                                    1. Gunkan Maki (Battleship Sushi) made with corn. It's not very traditional, but I had some at Genki Sushi recently, and really love it! Now I have to figure out how to make it at home!

                                                                      1. Fresh corn garden salsa! Corn, jalpenos, onions, tomatoes and...celantro! Bring on the tortillas!

                                                                        1. macques choux and those amazing corn dumplings from Andrea Nguyen's book, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen

                                                                          1. Corn on the cob with truffle butter at Restaurant Lulu. Simple and amazing.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: ML8000

                                                                              P.S. you can obviously make this at home..it's so simple but the results are amazing.

                                                                            2. Creamed corn made from fresh cut kernels, sauteed in bacon fat with some heavy cream added (and of course that crumbled bacon that gave you the fat) is a great indulgent side for any time of year, but at heart I'm more of a purist. Grilled corn in the husk with butter, lime and red pepper is a staple for grilling season, but I'll also microwave it in the husk and eat it straight as a snack throughout the year.

                                                                              1. Am I the lone dissenter who doesn't care much for butter on corn? I don't think it adds anything at all... I would rather have my Elote simply grilled with or without hulk & salted. Aged cheese adds something, lime juice adds something, powdered chile adds something... but butter just competes with a good cob of Corn's natural butteresque flavor & texture. Why add the useless calories & saturated fat?

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                  I love it both ways but that could be because we took a lot of trips to Mexico when I was a sprog and I was exposed to the mighty lime/chile/salt triumvirate early on. I do prefer it with much less butter than I used to when I go the butter route, hence my predilection for the "Maritime method" I posted on above which gives a thin but uniform film of calories and saturated fat :-).

                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                    I like the sound of your method and will give it a try to experience that balance.

                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                      Excellent, would love to hear what you think. Do be aware however that this method tends to work better for lots of people/cobs as you do need to have the right ratio of water to butter. When it's just me and the SO, I make do with the usual method of butter application!

                                                                                  2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                    Good corn doesn't need butter...but it helps average corn. Tuffle butter, that's another deal.

                                                                                    1. re: ML8000

                                                                                      Agreed.... but I think there are other things that help average corn that a much higher taste per calorie / saturated fat bang. I think many people just mindlessly apply plain old supermarket butter on corn and act as if it some wondrous combination.

                                                                                    2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                      Yo, eat nopal...I am with you, especially when the corn is grilled. I find myself putting on less and less butter each time we grill it.

                                                                                    3. Succotash! One of the oldest eastern US foods. An old Midd. Atlantic Sts. native American dish. Fresh corn and lima beans. I grew up on it in NJ, but doesn't exist in Maine.

                                                                                      1. 1. Grilled corn, silk removed, soak in ice water, husks left on, plenty of butter & salt, dash of lime juice or mayo & parmesan/romano cheese
                                                                                        2. spaghetti with meatballs served over good polenta with some corn kernels thrown in for texture and cheese on top
                                                                                        3. corn salsa - usually leftover grilled corn cut off the kernels, mixed with rinsed can of black beans, finely chopped red onion, red or green pepper minced, some good EVOO, some kind of vinegar (balsamic, red wine, sherry) or lemon or lime juice. This is great with tortilla chips, preferably a good Mexican brand or homemade
                                                                                        4. don't make a lot of Paula Deen recipes but she has one for corn pudding with kernels of corn, Jiffy corn muffin mix, sour cream and melted butter that is very comforting. I tweak it to include diced onions and chiles, a little red pepper flake or hot sauce for heat.
                                                                                        5. When it rains, we microwave the corn on a plate, freshly washed with a little water still clinging and covered with plastic wrap. MUCH prefer this (similar to steaming) than boiling.

                                                                                        1. We have a really short corn season here. When they start hitting locally, drive home from the farmstand like mad, shuck 'em, pile 'em in a pot, cover 'em with water, bring to a boil, boil 30 secs? or so, cover them and take them off the fire. They'll wait patiently, covered, for you up to an hour without deteriorating. When you're ready to eat, take out one (at a time, whoever ate just one cob) and rub over it a buttered piece of bread (just like in that movie). Salt it you like, pepper if you like (I don't but my husband does) and there you are. Heaven. I appreciate everyone's inventive recipes. They're fine for frozen or canned corn, or out of season Florida imports. But for the six weeks we can get fresh corn --- it's the simplest way for me, just about every day!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                                            That reminded me of Elote harvest in Rural Jalisco... as a teeny bopper I remember having 20 to 30 cobs a day until getting sick of it.

                                                                                          2. The absolute best dish I've ever made with fresh corn is also super-simple -- Corn in Brown Butter with Basil. Cut fresh corn off the cob. Put around 2 tsp. butter per cob of corn in a pan and let it get slightly browned (golden and nutty). Add corn and saute for a couple of minutes, until corn kernels are just tender. Add slivered basil. Serve.

                                                                                            1. Kahuku Corn Chowder - without a doubt.