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Corn, Glorious Corn

Chef Linda Weiss
Photograph Anne K Moore

Golden yellow or creamy white, sweet corn is one of the most popular vegetables of the summer growing season. No matter how we cook it, it’s delicious. From what we call “roastin ears”,  slightly green and right off the stalk, to scraping the kernels and milk off the cobb and making it fried in our grandmother’s cast iron skillet, it’s the best thing summer has to offer.

My sister Margaret makes wonderful roasted corn. She doesn’t do a thing to prepare her corn for roasting except soaking the un-husked and un-silked ears in water for about an hour, and then she removes the silks and slathers the ears with butter, salt and pepper. She then pulls the wet husks back up around the corn ears and “roasts” the corn in the oven or on the grill until the corn is tender. She says it takes from 5 to 8 minutes on a hot grill depending on how tender you want the corn and the size of the ears. The corn steams inside and becomes very tender.  If you want to leave the silks on after soaking in water, just put on the grill whole and the silks can be pulled off with the husks after the corn has cooked. The silks should slide right off.

Here in the South Carolina lowcountry we have a favorite way of making our corn, too. It’s on the cob in a boil with shrimp and sausage. It’s a great way to entertain and have your family and friends enjoy the “fruits”, so to speak, of your labor. 

Lowcountry Boil has long been one of my favorites, and if you can freeze some of your corn on the cob now, then you can repeat this company delight anytime of the year, especially around a cold fire in fall or winter.  I’ve had my recipe for so many years that I don’t remember where it came from originally. I had scaled it to feed 125 people when I was doing a program for a national grocery chain, now I’ve scaled it down to feed 6.

Enjoy.  Linda

Lowcountry Boil

5 lbs. small Yukon gold potatoes

6 ears fresh corn, shucked, rinsed and broken in half

3 lemons rinsed and quartered

2 small onions, peeled and quartered

3 lbs. unpeeled raw shrimp, or 1/2 pound per person

1 (3 ounce) package or more of New Orleans style shrimp and crab boil or to taste (see directions on box for amount in water)

1 pound good quality smoked sausage, cut into two inch pieces

Fill a large stock pot 3/4 full of water. Add the crab boil and lemons. Bring the water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the sausage and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onion and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 5 minutes after the water boils again. Remove from heat when ready, and drain.

Serving suggestion: Lay bunches of newspaper out on a large table. Pour the drained Lowcountry Boil on top of the newspapers. Serve with your favorite cocktail sauce. I use chili sauce and horseradish mixed together and the proportion of one to the other depends on the heat we want.

Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Lime Butter

6 ears of corn, un-husked, un-silked

1/2 stick butter

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon lime zest or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the corn in water for about 2 hours. Remove the corn and place it on a hot grill. Grill the corn until it is just tender. The time depends on the heat of your grill. Be careful because the corn is steaming inside. Serves 6.  Serve with cilantro lime butter.

Cilantro Lime Butter

1/2 stick butter

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon lime zest or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Let the butter come to room temperature then mix in the cilantro and lime zest. Put back in fridge until ready to serve. Serve with the hot corn.

Visit Chef Linda at her website:  www.cheflindaweiss.com

and her blog:  www.lindaallaboutfood.blogspot.com

Linda’s first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends

is available at Amazon.com or at her website.


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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