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Corn --- off the cob. So delicious

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So we're somewhere where the AC is marginal so I wasn't wanting to heat up the kitchen with a big pot of boiling water. And we have no grill here. And I had a couple of ears of good corn. I fried up four strips of bacon (okay, maybe that was overkill), drained them on paper towels and crumbled. I then sauteed some onion in the bacon drippings with s&p. Cut the corn off the cob and, off heat, scraped the cobs into the drippings and dumped in the corn kernels. While the meat was resting, I brought the skillet up to high and got the drippings sizzling. Removed from the heat, sprinkled the bacon over the top and served. I may never cook corn any other way. My husband, the monosyllabic one, was describing it as the best thing he ever has eaten! I can't recommend this highly enough.

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  1. I concur, delicious. There's no reason to eat boiled or steamed corn on the cob, unless that's what you want; so many other ways to make fresh corn removed from the cob great.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Sounds delicious! My mom would make fried corn when I was a kid. I sometimes cut the corn off the cob and fryi it up with butter. Very good, and sweet.

      1. re: mara44

        I agree! Fresh corn only needs a kiss of heat to be delicious. Lately I've been quick frying corn in butter, then dousing it with lime juice and ancho chili powder. This is great with thinly sliced steak in chili de arbol, perhaps with a broiled heirloom tomato stuffed with cilantro and garlic-spiked goat cheese on the side.

        1. re: mara44

          The bacon drippings idea came about because we were out of butter, blazing hot out and neither of us wanted to go to the store esp. since we're going home today.

      2. What always amazes me is when you cut it off the Cobb is how much corn there is.

        1 Reply
        1. re: davecrf

          Seriously. I bought myself a corn stripper this year, because had a lot of trouble cutting the kernels off with a knife. My yield of corn per ear increased dramatically, and finally cooking with corn off the cob doesn't seem like such a chore!

        2. Yum, that sounds so good! I love corn off the cob, too. While there's a certain summery feel to gnawing on a corncob, sometimes it's just a pain. We had six corn cobs that we were planning on grilling on July 4th but didn't... so instead of pulling out the grill to cook them or heating up a huge pot of water, I just cut the corn off the cob and sauteed the kernels for a little bit in some grapeseed oil and truffle salt (an idea I got from these boards!)

          OH! And another thing! If any of you have ever tried elote, the mexican corn on the cob with mayo, chilis, lime, etc, you know how good it is. So instead of doing the whole cob, I just threw the kernels in the pan with some butter, chili powder, and lime juice. Then I put the corn in a bowl and mixed it with a few dollops of my homemade mayo (another July 4th leftover). It was SO good! Like an elote salad, I suppose.

          1. pork fat plus fresh summer corn. you may have created the new food of the gods.

            1 Reply
            1. re: alkapal

              I awoke this morning thinking about it :)

            2. Pork fat and corn, also the basis of corn chowder. is a very traditional pairing here in New England.

              But I will mention that if it is sweet corn there is no reason to boil a large pot of water. An inch is enough to steam the corn for two minutes, the perfect length of time for a perfect ear of corn.

              4 Replies
              1. re: smtucker

                I never thought about steaming it. Now that's a great idea. Thanks, kiddo.

                1. re: c oliver

                  yep, steamed some over the weekend, it was just cooked enough, still very fresh and crispy. this thread has inspired me to make something with bacon and corn tomorrow night. and basil and/or pesto.... maybe with couscous stuffed into a red pepper.... thanks for the inspiration!

                2. re: smtucker

                  If I'm just making a cob or two (which is usual, as I eat it like candy in the summer), I throw it in the microwave. One cob for about 2 minutes is what works in my microwave, and it steams right in the husk. The silk comes very easily when wet/hot. Just remember to have a clean potholder to remove the husk or be prepared to wait a while until it cools enough to handle (all the while likely salivating like Pavlov's dogs).

                  1. re: smtucker

                    Steaming...like c oliver, hadn't thought of that!

                    As for the cobs, I've learned to save them and freeze them in ziplocks. When I want to make corn chowder, I cut them into smaller pieces, put them into a small pot of water, and cook it down to get a "corn stock" for the corn chowder. Gives it a very nice additional "corny" taste instead of just using chicken stock.

                  2. I'm curious. Was the corn you had one of these new "super sweet" varieties of white corn, or a more traditional "corn" flavored yellow corn? Likely it makes a huge difference. Thanks for the story!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Tripeler

                      White. I don't like yellow corn. But I don't believe all white corn is super-sweet, is it?

                      1. re: c oliver

                        And not all super-sweet corn is white. I'm in central IL. It's getting hard to find traditional corn flavored corn. Sadly super sweet seems to be taking over.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Sweet hybrid corn with thin walled kernels has definitely become the US consumer's preference. Humans eat about 20% of the US corn crop, and the remainder used for animal feed and ethanol is essentially inedible. Growers have a wide selection of hybrid seed from which to choose. Much of the "people corn" in Central America is a little harsh for my taste on the cob, but it makes for great tortillas which provide over half of the caloric intake of diets in Mexico and Central America.

                          1. re: debbiel

                            IMO consumer preference has less to do with the super sweet invasion than supply chain issues.
                            - Sweeter corn reportedly holds up in transit and storage longer, so that's what the big chains and processors buy.
                            - Corn cross pollinates in the wind easily, so farmers have less incentive to grow multiple varieties that won't stay 'pure'.
                            Now, loading up every conceivable food product with HFCS wouldn't be decreasing peoples sensitivity to sweet flavors, would it? :-\

                            1. re: DiveFan

                              I can't join the sweet corn bashers. I'll give you my cob when you pry it from my cold dead hands.:( Tata will be at the upcoming Olathe sweet corn festival -I'm jealous!

                              1. re: DiveFan

                                Veggo: Peace, I'll let you have your sweet corn if I can keep my semi-sweet.
                                BTW quick survey, are you a native Southerner?
                                From previous corn related posts it seems to this California boy that in the South yellow corn=feed corn, not sure why.
                                Olathe, KS in the summer? No, thank you .... we just missed the Brentwood corn festival: http://brentwoodcornfest.org/

                                1. re: DiveFan

                                  Peace back at you. No, I'm a CT native + 8 yrs in TX, 8 in CO, 4 in MX, 5 in FL, 1 in T&C.
                                  One of only a few producers of huitlacoche, the corn fungus, in the US is 2 hours from me, outside Orlando.
                                  There are 2 Olathe's, the festival is in the CO one. Pretty area of west Colorado.
                                  Diving is our common ground. Take only pictures, leave only bubbles my friend!

                        2. That sounds good. My SIL's corn recipe is tasty and a little lighter without the bacon fat. Cut kernels from a half dozen ears, sautee with 1-2 finely diced jalapenos in a minimum of oil until corn begins to carmelize, stir often. Remove from heat, add 1/2-1 cup chopped cilantro, juice from 2 limes, serve. My brother "de-kernels" his corn outside because of all the flying kernels, I do mine inside, upright in a lobster pot.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Veggo

                            That sounds extremely good. Got some jalapenos and poblanos. I've have a technique for "de-kerniling" so they don't fly around as much. Both my cutting and non-cutting hand are kinda cupped around the ear at the point where the knife is. Out of two ears, maybe I had 15 kernils that wandered off.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              Okay, I did a little of both. Reduced the bacon to two strips (Bob wept!), sauteed a lesser amount of jalapenos with onion. I only added the corn at the end for maybe two minutes, lemon juice yes, forgot all about the cilantro but did use some basil. GREAT!

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Good to read your report, CO. I didn't make it last night as planned. Ws had lobster salad and G wanted cornOTC. so will make Veggo's SIL's recipe tonight. No bacon fat, though. I had considered using rendered pancetta but I think I'll keep it lighter as V suggests.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  I justified just one bacon strip per person by the fact that we split a sandwich of turkey, cheese, tomato and avocado for lunch (yes,yes, it did have mayo on it!)

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Hey... mayo is a good thing, especially in a turkey sandwich.

                              2. re: Veggo

                                Made your SIL's corn off the cob sauté last night... and we Loved it. I included a large white onion diced to match the corn kernels but everything else was as you wrote. Because our jalapeños were huge I only chopped 1 and used 1 cup of chopped cilantro. Many thanks for the recipe, Veggo. Will definitely be making this again.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  A great way to slice corn off the cob with no mess-

                                  Take a small pyrex bowl and put it upside down inside a much larger pyrex bowl. Use the small upside down bowl as a "stand" for the ears of corn. The corn ends up in the larger bowl with no mess on the counter.

                                  I think this one came from Rachael Ray

                                2. Lately I've been enjoying half a dozen or so ears' worth of corn off the cob sauteed with an onion, some garlic, and a half-pound or so of NM green chile. Yum.

                                  As far as removing the stuff from the cob, a corn cutter makes quick work with somewhat less mess: http://www.amazon.com/Amco-8717-Corn-...

                                  1. Nice Sichuan way: Corn off the cob, a couple of green onions, sliced into corn-kernel sized bits, and as much similarly chopped or sliced fresh chili peppers as you like. Sizzle obnions and chilis in oil, add corn, stir about until hot, salt to taste. Top with green onion tops if you like. That's it!

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I cannot WAIT to get back to the US for some tasty corn! Your dish will be one of the first I'll make.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        That sounds great. Do you use peanut oil?

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          It is great and so easy. You can use peanut oil, I don't like the taste so use olive oil (not Chinese but it's getting to be used more there) or plain old veg oil. Or you could do this in bacon fat or lard, lard is used a lot (and there's a Sichuan cured belly pork that's very similar to bacon, fats don't go to waste in Chinese cooking).

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            Fats don't go to waste in MY cooking either :) I have a bunch of pork belly in the freezer also.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              You know that Miriam Ungerer book form the 70's, Real Cheap Food? She says in it to keep all your cooking fats and you won't have to buy any. I do buy them but have some mixed meat stuff on hand all the time.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                I'm not familiar with that book but I do always have bacon drippings, duck fat, sometimes pork fat and sometimes chicken fat (the last time I made stock I used all feet and backs and it had practically no fat.)

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  O.M.G. I have some duck fat. That would be a brilliant way to cook up some corn cut off the cob. Oh my.....

                                            2. re: buttertart

                                              jaggery tart, have you made a sichuan dish of fried corn? it has a tempura-like light batter around each kernel, and is a tad on the sweet side. i had this dish in a local restaurant, hong kong palace (the resto kept the "hong kong" sign when they took over, even though the cuisine is sichuan).

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Hmm, I haven't seen that, but it sounds great.

                                          2. re: buttertart

                                            Sounds great! I'm making a rotisserie chicken on the grill with one of the marinades from next month's COTM "Complete Asian Cookbook", and this will be the perfect side dish.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              buttertart, that sounds incredibly good! I will try it this week, thanks :)

                                              1. re: eviemichael

                                                Happy to be of service!

                                            2. If you think the bacon grease was terrific try using pancetta, the good stuff. I like Veggo's jalapeno recipe. I'll try that tomorrow when we get our fresh-from-the-farm box. To remove the kernels I slice off the stem end, stand the cob upright on my cutting board and slice/saw slowly top to bottom. No mess, no fuss.

                                              17 Replies
                                              1. re: Gio

                                                Yes. Saw back and forth. Pancetta makes everything taste good. Last winter I bought some frozen white corn kernels to use for Veggo's shrimp,corn, poblano soup and it wasn't bad. Should have added some bacon/pancetta.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I added (not enough) jalapeno recently but forgot the cilantro. Maybe tonight.

                                                  I now have two dozen ears-worth of kernels in my freezer and planning on adding a couple dozen more.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    You might want to just dip them in boiling water very briefly before freezing any more, they'll keep better that way.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Dipping in boiling water, for me, would be the equivalent of cooking. I don't cook corn, I warm it. Thanks but no thanks.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        It will keep better frozen if just briefly scalded.

                                                2. re: Gio

                                                  i cut the cob in half, then strip each half, using the cut base for stability. much easier for me. and the kernels don't fly as far.

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    ...<"cut the cob in half, then strip each half, using the cut base for stability">
                                                    ...<"kernels don't fly as far">

                                                    1. Alka-my-pal, do you use a chain saw to "cut the cob in half"?
                                                    2. Those kernels will inhabit the earth. J/S.

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      nah, gio, i just use my good ol' henckel's 10" chef's knife.

                                                      and, forgive me for being dense, but what is the second reference? something literary? ;-)).

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        <"...and the kernels don't fly as far">

                                                        I guess I was being a bit obscure. I envisioined air borne kernels setting seed all over the place.

                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                      I cut the kernels off on a cutting board which I set inside a large baking sheet with high edges. Keeps some of the corn contained.

                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                        I stick the end of the cob in the center hole of a bundt pan and cut the kernels off from there. Gio, I don't find the cobs too tough to cut through with a basic, good kitchen knife.

                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                          Hey, that's what I do! The kernels just fall into the bundt pan, no muss or fuss. I'm wondering if corn cutter posters also scrape down the cob after cutting off the kernels, to get the corn milk?

                                                          I'm surprised no one's mention maque choux, easily made with bacon fat subbing for the butter.

                                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                            Mmm...corn milk. I often make a nice corn broth from simmering the corn cobs for 30 minutes or so. It puts that corn milk to good use.

                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                              i've tried using the cobs. to me, it tasted like....cobs.

                                                        2. re: Rubee

                                                          I cut mine into an Asian soup bowl and don't loose more than a kernel or two. And that is completely due to my impatience, not a flaw in the method.

                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                            I do mine in my biggest stainless steel bowl - it's wide and somewhat shallow but does the trick nicely.

                                                        3. re: Gio

                                                          That's what I do - the holding hand hold the corn section being cut off at the top of the cob and the corn just ends up falling into the bowl. I might lose a few kernels that pop out of the bowl, but they're easily retrievable.

                                                        4. I actually do something similar because I really don't like to eat corn off the cob. I may have to add the bacon as you did, I have only cooked the corn with olive oil, butter and garlic. The only way to possibly make yours a lttle better would be the addition of garlic.

                                                          1. I have never boiled corn. Too lazy. I've always microwaved it without the husks. I break them in half and place in a spoke pattern around the plate, about three minutes per large ear that is cold from the refrigerator.

                                                            I also strip it off the cobb and add to salads without cooking it.

                                                            Add bacon to anything...of course it tastes better!

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Rhee

                                                              In recent years we have been microwaving corn with the husks on. Usually about 3 to 4 minutes per ear. It is tough stripping the husks off when hot, so we run cold water over while stripping, but the cob holds a lot of heat, and keeps the corn warm.

                                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                                me, too. i either put the corn-with-husk into water to soak a little beforehand, or wrap wet paper towels around each ear to cook. then...nuke 'em, danno!

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  I husk them and put them in the mic in a big dish covered with plastic wrap. Scootch them around midway through and bring the bottom ones on top. About 2 mins/ear, just until nice and steamy. Have a big oval veg dish you can cook and serve in.

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    I don't find any extra moisture necessary - just toss them in in their husks, and they steam nicely (I do tend to get it v. fresh from the farmers' mkt. and use it soon). After, let them cool a couple of minutes and strip. Bonus: the silk comes clean away if you husk after microwaving.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      I've never thought of using the micro for corn on the cob. Will definitely have to try this one. Thanks, all for the tip!

                                                              2. Everything's better with bacon :-D

                                                                1. We call this fried corn and make it all the time with left over corn -- and we always plan on leftovers! I like a little jalapeno in there too...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    See, I would never make anything with leftover corn because, to my mouth, overcooked corn is a waste. Actually I just heat corn; you wouldn't even call it cooking.

                                                                  2. Sounds wonderful! It's got bacon. How can it be bad? :-)

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Just fixed a squash casserole for tonight's dinner --- with MORE bacon!

                                                                    2. We had two ears of corn that lasted past the day of picking so I decided to try something different. I steamed the corn for two minutes and then cut it off the cob. I basically made a pico de gallo, substituting corn for the tomato. Some fresh lemon juice, serrano peppers, fresh red onion and lots of cilantro chopped. Wow. This is a lovely side dish. Nice fresh taste that paired well with grilled chicken. Tonight I will add some diced tomatoes that must be eaten for a variation.

                                                                      EDIT: lime juice, not lemon though that might taste good.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                        That sounds fantastic. I don't have a red onion but do have half of my very last Vidalia onion. Sounds like something worthy of its specialness. Thanks.

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          That's really nice, SMT. Thanks! It does sound a smidge like Veggo's SIL's recipe, except you steamed the corn. I added a diced onion when I made it. Now I'll try your Pico de Maiz.

                                                                          We've been getting 8 -12 ears of corn each week for the last 4 weeks so this will be an excellent variation of our themes.