It is that time of year again, corn time! This is the time of year we find ourselves eating a lot of corn and enjoy the freshness of it from our local farmers. Where we live, corn is everywhere so finding fresh, delicious corn is quite easy. We thought we’d share some corn tips with you so you can enjoy your corn just as much as us!
Start with tips for selecting, storing and shucking corn on the cob, then learn how to boil, grill and roast it to perfection. Next, take it in a new direction with 8 out-of-the-ordinary topping ideas.
How to Select, Store & Shuck Corn on the Cob
- Selecting: Look for ears of corn with tight, bright green husks and glossy, golden silk. Peel back the husk a bit; kernels should be plump and shiny, lined up in tight, evenly spaced rows. Avoid any with shriveled husks or dark, slimy silk.
- Storing: Whenever possible, purchase ears in husks—they naturally protect the kernels—and refrigerate uncovered. Or refrigerate shucked corn in sealed plastic bags. Either way, be sure to use it within 2 days.
Tip: Enjoy the sweet, sunny flavor of fresh corn year-round! Just shuck the ears (see below), transfer them to re-sealable bags and freeze. Or shave the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife, transfer to a bag and freeze.
- Shucking: Right before you boil corn, peel off the husks, remove the silk, then rinse. If you’ll be grilling or roasting the corn, keep the husk intact: peel it down, remove the silk, then cook as desired.
Tip: To grab more of the stubborn silk, stretch a rubber band between your fingers and run it across the cob.
3 Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
- Grill. With the husks peeled down, soak corn in water for 20 minutes. Pull the husks back up, then grill until tender, about 20-25 minutes. To caramelize the kernels, peel down the husks for the last couple minutes of cooking.
- Roast. After you remove the silk, pull the husks up. Place cobs directly on the oven rack and roast at 180°C (350°F) until soft, about 30-40 minutes. For pre-shucked cobs, wrap in foil first.
- Boil. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil. Add cobs and cook, covered, to desired doneness, about 2-5 minutes for crisp corn and 6-8 minutes for softer kernels.
Corn on the Cob Topping Ideas
With these tasty toppers, you’ll never tire of this plentiful, low-cost staple:
- See why “street corn” is all the rage: Spread cobs with Mexican crema (Mexican sour cream) or crème fraiche, roll in shredded Cotija or crumbled feta cheese, then sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Finish with fresh-squeezed lime juice.
- Add a dab of flavor-boosted butter, like chipotle butter.
- Accent the sweet, crisp kernels with a layer of spicy, smooth guacamole.
- Try an Italian-inspired twist: Garnish with pesto and shaved Parmesan.
- Top with a spoonful of chunky garden-fresh salsa or tangy green tomatillo salsa.
- Consider condiments already in your fridge, like hot sauce, teriyaki sauce and barbecue sauce.
- Deliver low-fat flavor to your cobs: Dip the cut side of a halved lemon in salt, pepper and lemon zest (or your favorite spice blend), then rub across the kernels.
- Update the classic butter and salt combo with flavored salts: Grind together equal parts salt and your favorite flavoring—it’s that easy! To really complement the corn, try smoked paprika, fresh parsley or citrus zest.
What are your favorite ways to prepare or serve corn on the cob? Share with us here at MommyMatter.