corn

"Better than Sex" Butter

What's better than summer corn? Summer corn with "Better than Sex Butter" that's what.  

Corn on the cob

I modified the Silver Palate gals' Albuquerque Butter and brought it to friends' cookout years ago. Another guest, a chef no less, dubbed it "Jackie's Better than Sex Butter" - and the name kinda stuck. Recently, I discovered this has been scraped by a Hamptons lifestyle blog with no attribution. So if you're "lounging by the pool" at your next Hamptons party and the host brings out this killer butter for the corn on the cob, smack them for me, will you?

It's also been used w/o permission but with link back and attribution in a couple other places. Thought I'd go ahead and share it here.

Jackie's Better than Sex Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (8 TBSP) unsalted butter (or vegan butter substitute) at room temp
  • 2 TBSP minced scallions (or chives)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • Lots of fresh ground black pepper
  • half a chipotle pepper minced, along with 1/2 tsp of adobo sauce
  • zest of half a large organic lime or more to taste

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients, taste, correct seasonings if necessary. You can do ahead and wrap in plastic wrap in a log shape and then slice pats off that. If you want to freeze it, I'd omit the scallion/chive and add those at serving time.

More Corn Ideas

Corn and black bean salad, corn risotto, corn sauté with bacon and tomatoes, corn sauté with bacon, tomatoes and seared scallops, sweet corn ice cream, corn and tomato salsa, cornbread...

Many people overcook fresh corn. It really needs only the barest touch of heat. This is one of the best uses for a microwave: husk and clean the corn of the silks, snap in half and place in a round microwave safe casserole dish with a about an inch of water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave just a couple minutes. Quick and easy. Microwaving also helps you retain much more of the good vitamins and minerals that would be lost to boiling. Corn has thiamine, niacin, vitamin C, A, iron, magnesium, potassium, as well as fiber.

Pick corn at the farmers' market since the sugars in corn begin to turn to starch soon after it's picked. Look for silks that are damp, not dry.

What's your favorite way to enjoy summer corn?

 

How to Make Corn Stock - Recipe for Summer -in-a-Pan

Don't you love one pot meals? My dishwasher does. And by dishwasher I mean my husband.

Actually, we both do dishes and are greatly aided by our Fisher & Paykel dish drawers (perfect dishwasher for our small family of two, it's divided into two separate units.) Any way you slice it, dishes are a drag. So, it's always great to find another recipe for a whole meal in one pot or one pan, yes?

Our Spelt-Corn Sauté with heirloom cherry tomatoes, scallion, poblanos.

 

Spelt is an old grain, think of wheat's great, great, great grandpa. It grows without needing as much chemical intervention and is slightly less productive than modern wheat varieties. It's great for fiber, phosphorus, manganese, protein and iron. It has a nutty chewy texture that plays well against the sweet pop of the corn kernels. Here, I soaked the spelt in water overnight and cooked it in sweet corn stock.

 

Making Use of Summer Abundance

We had fun helping folks come up with ways to reduce food waste in Jenni Fields' "Four Pounds" food waste challenge. One thing I like to do is to approach vegetables with the same reverence usually reserved for meats. "Itadakimasu" is a Japanese way of giving thanks for the sacrifice that went into one's meal. Why not respect our produce and the resources that went into it, too?

For me, Summer in New England will forever be associated with heirloom tomatoes and some of the best corn on the cob I've ever had. This coming from a Maryland girl where we reveled in Silver Queen and Butter & Sugar corn varieties is kind of a big deal, but there you have it. I'm firmly in the local is better camp here. In fact, one of the reasons Summer corn tastes so good here is that we get it at the farmers' markets the morning it was picked. Did you know that the sugars in the corn begin to turn to starch within minutes of it being picked? More than a quarter of the sugars turn to starch in the first day it's picked. So, buy your corn from the Farmers' Market near you and use it that day. If you cannot use it right away keep in a paper bag on the counter not in the fridge as cool temps speed up that starch conversion.

You could zip the kernels off the cobs and make corn stock. Blanch and freeze the kernels. (I always say I'm going to do this each summer but never seem to be able to resist eating this corn right away!)


Recipe: Summer Corn, Heirloom Tomato, Spelt - One Pot Meal

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • half a poblano pepper
  • 1 C spelt soaked the night before if possible
  • 2-3 scallions
  • Bacon (crisply cooked, completely optional)
  • Corn stock (see below)
  • ~1 C heirloom cherry tomatoes halved

 

Directions for corn stock:

  1. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs. The easiest way to do this is to place the cob of husked corn upright in a large bowl and use a sharp knife to separate kernels from cobs, reserve cobs.

    Tip: place a square of damp paper towel under the bowl to keep it from sliding. 

  2. Save the cobs and place in large saucepan, cover with water.

  3. Add 1-3 dried bay leaves, a pinch of peppercorns
  4. Bring to boil then reduce heat to strong simmer for about 20 minutes. 

    Corn cob stock on the boil.
  5. Cool, strain, and use or label & freeze.

Assembling the One-Pot Dinner

You can vary this according to what you have on hand. Here's how I made mine the other night. Tonight, I'm making a version including chicken, some leftover rice, and some black barley. See Ingredients above.

Putting it together:

  1. Cook the spelt in the corn stock and add water as needed.
  2. Drain into bowl, reserve.
  3. Wipe out the saucepan, add duck fat or light oil to lightly coat.
  4. Sauté poblano, wilt whites of onion, add corn.
  5. Add cooked spelt.
  6. Add chopped cilantro, and halved cherry tomatoes
  7. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon (if using)
  8. In the final moments, add a handful of spinach leaves. (Love the Olivia's Organic Baby Spinach).
I also added a bit of powdered ancho, some cayenne and a few generous grinds of black pepper.

Other Corn Inspiration