Tag Archives: corn

Corn on and off the cob

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I love corn on the cob. It was one of the pleasures of childhood summers spent in New Jersey with my grandparents. My grandfather grew his own corn, usually Silver Queen and when I was young I would go out on the tractor to help him pick it. He liked to bring it straight from the garden to the kitchen, as close to dinner time as possible and as we picked he would sing me the same old song:

Oh said the blackbird to the crow
Down to the cornfield we must go
husking corn has been our trade
ever since this world was made.

I would help my grandmother husk the corn and it would go straight into a large pot of boiling water. She had one of those pots with a built in strainer and would cook 10-12 ears at a time.

When I first moved to the states, I tried cooking corn on the cob for myself but I didn’t have a big enough pan. I saw a friend cooking corn in the microwave placing the husked ears in a pyrex covered with saran wrap and it seemed a good idea for cooking smaller quantities. When I got home I did some research online about cooking corn on the cob in the microwave. After some trial and error here is my preferred method. It is really easy and I have had great results.

Cut the brown ends of the silk off the ear.
Remove a few of the outer green husk layers but do not completely husk the corn.
Place the ears of corn in the microwave and cook on full power for 2-3 minutes.
Timing is variable depending on your microwave wattage, how many ears of corn you are cooking and how done you like your corn. It doesn’t take many attempts to figure it out for your microwave). Feel the ears and add more time if you think they need it.
When done the outside of the husk will feel very hot to touch. I usually let it sit for a few minutes and husk it just before I want to serve it.
Husking the corn is much easier when it is cooked as the silk sticks together and to the husk rather than to the ear.

This weekend I made a recipe from David Tanis’ A Platter of Figs: Corn, Squash, and beans with Jalapeño Butter. It was good, but I don’t think you need as much water as he suggests or to cook the vegetables for nearly as long. We used some of the left over butter for corn on the cob and it was wonderful.

Jalapeño Butter
Put a softened stick of butter into a small bowl.
Stir in 1 minced jalapeño pepper (you can remove the seeds for a less spicy butter)
Add salt and pepper, the grated zest and juice of 1 lime and a tablespoon of finely chopped chives. Mix well.

Another salad I love with corn, is Peter Berley‘s quinoa, green bean, corn and cherry tomato salad from The Flexitarian Table. Here is a photo of it from last summer (without tomatoes).

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The other thing I do with corn is to make my own frozen sweet corn. I husk the corn, stand the ears on end and run a sharp knife down the cob. You have to be careful not to press too hard or you get the tougher part of the kernel. I freeze the corn kernels on a baking tray (either on a non-stick tray or use parchment) and once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. This way you can use however much you want to throw into a recipe. I do not blanch the corn, but I know that some people do and you may be able to keep them longer if you do.

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Filed under recipes, salads, Vegetarian

July 4th Weekend

Not quite red, white and blue but you can tell it's summer!

Not quite red, white and blue but you can tell it's summer!

Our holiday weekend turned into three days of food, fun and feasting. Friday night was an al fresco dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday with delicious treats from Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, spicy capicola from Thurn’s, foie gras pate from France, smoked oat cakes from Ireland, local tomatoes with basil and Blue Jacket Dairy Mozzarella and french rose. It was a ‘picnic’ beyond compare!

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Zingerman's treat number one, acorn fed coppa.

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Treat number two: Kunik cheese

Kunik cheese from Warrensburg NY (via Zingerman’s) is a wonderful uber creamy cheese made from a mix of goat milk and jersey cream. It is a white mold ripened cheese with a buttery interior and I hope that it is available somewhere in Columbus.

Thus fortified it was time for Red, White and Boom fireworks and our al fresco evening continued with Dark and Stormies (ginger beer and dark rum), my favorite firework watching drink, on a warehouse roof downtown.

Thurns - various meats including capicola

Thurns - various meats including capicola

Saturday we were hosting a post doo-dah parade cookout. We had purchased the meat the day before at Thurn’s and chosen a range of burgers, brats (smoked and garlic) and frankfurters. Once you are in Thurn’s how can you resist the bacon?

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Saturday morning saw my usual trip to the farmers market but I rather unwisely rode my bike. Bikes are fine when shopping for one or two, not for twenty and not when you can’t resist buying 13 ears of corn. I had a wobbly ride home with bags hanging off each handle bar. You really can tell that the growing season here is in full swing, with so much more variety than a month ago. Blueberries, raspberries, apples, tomatoes, snow peas, cucumbers, beets, carrots and all sorts of greens. My highlights were red skinned pontiac potatoes, orange cherry tomatoes and the first corn of the season!

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Somehow I was too busy at the cook out to take any photos. I made the veganomicon quinoa salad with black beans and mango that I made a lot last summer, a potato salad with a mustardy dressing and a blueberry cake (a favorite recipe from the Lompoc Cafe Cookbook). We also made a roasted tomato salsa from 101 cookbooks that was a huge hit. It disappeared before everyone had even arrived.

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Lompoc cafe blueberry cake with lemon frosting

Sunday was some more taco trucking – and after one failed lead, we found a new truck in Hilliard (great chorizo tacos) and took a trip to Potosinos, which was busy with Latinos in their sunday best but as welcoming as always. I had some wonderful barbacoa sopes and horchata.

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Tacos at Nayarit

The finale of the weekend was an opening party at Kogen’s restaurant in Powell. Kogen’s is a Pan-Asian restaurant owned by the Mark Pi family with a mixture of sushi and other Asian dishes. IMG_3929

We stuck to the sushi menu and tried some of the interesting sushi appetizers such as Asian poke, seafood sunomono, spicy octopus with kimchi sauce and Asian ceviche. We also had some sushi a la carte and not surprisingly ran out of space for any entrees. The Asian poke and the octopus were our favorite appetizers.

Asian Ceviche

Asian ceviche was a refreshing mixture of marinated fish with cucumber, fish roe and seaweed salad.

We also really enjoyed some of the interesting mixed drinks. The favorite at our table was the Cappa martini, sake shaken with cucumber and sour mix. A perfect drink for a hot summer evening and a great accompaniment to the sushi. Isn’t one of the signs of a good cocktail that it is way too easy to drink?

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Photos of Red White and Boom and the Doo Dah Parade are up on Flickr.

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Filed under Columbus, dinners with friends, Drinks, North Market, Ohio, special events, Taco trucks