Corn. Not the best season for local corn from a local economic standpoint as far as farmers are concerned. Early season rains, spring chills, and the late summer drought have wreaked havoc on much of the state’s corn production. But small family vegetable farms with irrigation systems, as well as out-of-state production, have yielded fantastic sweet corn for eating. Try these recipes with your next dozen ears, and I encourage you to cut and freeze as much corn as you can this summer for enjoyment all through the winter—raw kernels freeze very well.
Roasted Corn a la Puebla
1 stick organic butter, room temperature
1 bunch organic cilantro, minced
Juice of 1 organic lime
1 organic serrano chili pepper, minced
1 t. ground organic cumin
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground white pepper
1 t. dried organic oregano
1 small white organic onion, minced fine
1 clove organic garlic, minced
6 ears organic corn, leaves peeled back gently, silk removed, and leaves pulled back up to cover cobs and kernels
Combine the butter and all the ingredients except the corn in a small food processor. Pulse to combine. Lacking a food processor, you can always blend by hand. Roast corn over medium direct heat on a natural charcoal fire or gas grill until leaves have begun to blacken and the corn kernels are becoming tender. Remove corn from grill and peel back the leaves. Let cool for 5 minutes and begin basting generously with about half the butter mixture. Pull leaves back up, roast for 4-5 minutes more, and serve, passing remaining herb butter at the table.
Note: this herb butter is superb over grilled meats, poultry, fish, and other vegetables.
Summer Corn Succotash
1/2 stick butter
1 c. fresh breadcrumbs
1 c. diced onion
Several sprigs marjoram
Several pinches thyme
Several pinches chili flakes
1 c. diced carrots
1 c. diced celery
1 c. fresh fava beans or green peas, blanched
Salt and pepper
3 c. corn cut from the cob
1/4 c. heavy cream
Place the butter over high heat in a large sauté pan. When melted, pull out 2 T. and toss with the breadcrumbs. Spread on a baking tray and toast in a 350-degree oven for 6-10 minutes, until nicely toasted. Reserve. Meanwhile . . .
When butter in pan is foaming, add the onions, herbs and carrots. When caramelized, add the celery and corn, cook for several minutes, and add the cream. Cook for a few minutes more and add the beans or peas, heating them through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, garnishing with the fresh toasted breadcrumbs.