Cooking Up Fresh Corn
Grilling, roasting and boiling all bring out corn’s natural flavors.
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Here are a few ways to prepare ears of corn:
Boiled Corn on the Cob
This is one of the most pleasurable ways to eat corn. All too often, however, the deliciously tender, crunchy ears are overcooked. Personal preferences aside, when corn is sweet and crisp enough to eat raw, it needs to be cooked for only a couple of minutes. Count on at least two ears per person.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
4 quarts water
8 ears sweet corn
Use a pot big enough to hold 4 ears of corn without crowding; bring the water to a boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, shuck the corn and remove the silks.
Drop 4 ears of corn at a time into the boiling water; cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with tongs; serve immediately.
In the same boiling water, cook the second batch of corn while eating the first.
Corn Roasted on the Grill
This is the way American Indians cooked corn, though they put the unhusked ears directly into the hot ashes to roast or covered them with a layer of earth, then piled hot coals on top.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
8 ears unhusked sweet corn
1/2 cup (1 stick) flavored butter (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Prepare grill for medium heat.
Because the ears are too hot to handle when they come off the grill, it's better to peel back the husks and remove the silks before roasting the corn. To do this, carefully peel the husks down to where they meet the stem, and remove the silks. If desired, flavored butters, salt and pepper, or other seasonings can be added at this point. Fold the husks back around the ears and secure them with strips of foil.
Place the corn on top of a grill rack directly over medium heat. Cover the grill and roast the corn for 20 minutes, giving them quarter turns every 5 minutes.
Serve immediately with butter and salt and pepper, if desired. Or remove the corn from the cob and use the kernels in salsa or another dish.
Grilling offers an interesting change from boiling or steaming corn and simplifies things when you're serving a lot of people. For a variation, cut the shucked ears into 1 1/2- to 2-inch sections, grill them in foil and serve with cherry tomatoes threaded on skewers.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
8 ears sweet corn
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely minced
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
16 sprigs fresh thyme, sage, rosemary or basil
Prepare grill for medium heat. Husk the corn. In a small bowl, mash together the butter, garlic and pepper.
Lay 1 herb sprig on each of 8 pieces of aluminum foil. Spread one side of the ears with half of the butter mixture, and place each ear, butter-side down, on top of the herb.
Spread the remaining butter mixture on the corn, and lay another herb sprig over the top. Close the foil.
Place the foil-wrapped ears on a grill rack 4 inches above the heat. Grill for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the corn every 4 to 5 minutes.
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