02 July 2012
CORN FOR ALL
There was corn at the farmer's market! CORN CORN CORN CORN CORN. Let's eat it!
Personally, although I love fresh corn, I don't like to gnaw it off the cob. This means that we don't normally do the plain boiled corn that so many people heart so hard. Instead, for our first foray into sweet summer corn, I decided to just saute the kernels with a little bit of green onion. Straightforward and perfect.
Simple sauteed corn with green onion
salt & pepper
Husk your corn and cut it off the cob. It's easiest to slice the corn off the cob if you hold your knife at an angle, so you're using more than an inch of the blade, and slide it back and forth as you move it down the side of the cob. I used two ears of corn for two people.
Trim and chop your green onion. I used one gigantic green onion from the garden, but you may want to use two. The green onions are by far the biggest success in this year's garden, incidentally.
When you're all ready, warm a little olive oil in a saute pan. Toss in your green onion, reserving a handful or two of the most delicate greens. Saute for two to three minutes, or until just wilted. Add the corn and season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute for another few minutes, or until the corn is done to your liking.
Add your reserved green onion greens at the last second. Stir to mix, correct seasonings, and serve. Voila!
We ate our corn in tacos with flame-toasted corn tortillas, refried beans, and curtido de repollo. Then we ate the leftovers fork-first out of the pan. Delicious.
If you want to get richer (and possibly even more delicious), you can make rajas poblanas--roasted poblano peppers with corn and cream. For our second foray into summer corn cooking, I followed this recipe from Not Just Baked, with some minor changes.
First, I halved the recipe, since I was only feeding myself. This meant I used three poblanos and one ear of corn. I think you could use any proportion you like, however.
Second, I wasn't using a grill, so I decided to just add my corn to the onion-poblano-cream business raw. This worked out admirably, but I'm sure the results would be even more delicious with roasted corn.
Start by roasting your poblanos, preferably over open flame. A grill is obviously ideal, but a gas burner works well too, as does a broiler. Use tongs (preferably with an insulated handle) to position your poblanos and char the skin evenly all over. When each poblano is roasted, put it in a container and lid it; this will keep in the heat and steam off the skin. I use a big plastic bowl with a lid, but even a paper bag can give good results.
If you happen to be using a grill, you can grill the corn too.
While your poblanos are steaming, chop up an onion and a couple cloves of garlic. Heat a slug of oil in a wide saute pan on low. Slowly caramelize the onion in the oil, stirring frequently. This can take a good twenty minutes; add the garlic in the last few minutes of cooking. Use the waiting time to prep your finished poblanos and corn.
After your poblanos have had at least five minutes to steam, open the container and flake off the skin with your fingers. This works best in a bowl of water. Remove the stems and seeds and slice or tear the roasted poblano flesh into long strips. Husk your corn and slice the kernels off each cob.
When the onions are completely soft and just golden-brown, mix in your poblanos and corn to the pan. Pour in cream to barely cover; I used one cup.
Heat everything to a low simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally and making sure not to burn, for about a half hour. The cream will reduce gradually to create a delightful sauce.
When your rajas poblanas are done, you can eat them whatever way you see fit. I made burritos with rajas and refried beans. Any leftovers are excellent in early morning breakfast quesadillas. You guys eat early morning breakfast quesadillas, right?
Needless to say, we'll be cramming more and more corn in our gaping maws for the foreseeable future. There should be corn until the end of August, and maybe into September if we're lucky. Excellent.