July 22, 2013

Fresh Sweet Summer Corn and Corn Bread

Almost every single basic thing I know about cooking I learned from my mom.  Her lessons have stuck with me and sometimes I can actually hear her saying "there's no need to beat that to death" or "keep stirring, it's not done."  While Mom used sugar in her confections, she didn't sugar coat the instructions.  This is what you do, period, end of story.  Once I had a kitchen of my own I could still hear her voice confidently guiding me to a successful dish.  



My Mom spent several weeks each summer visiting her own mother in West Virginia.  Mom and Mammaw planned for weeks when the best time would be for her to come and help pick and preserve vegetables, make jams and jellies and work the garden.  When Mom said she was putting up corn, she didn't mean pulling it from the grocery store sack, she was cleaning, cutting, canning or freezing the harvest.  


My husband and I made a quick trip through the local farmer's market this weekend and found fresh sweet corn on sale - 2 dozen ears for $6.00.   My weekend plans quickly changed to take advantage of our newly acquired produce.   So if you happened to call me and I didn't answer, I was busy putting up corn.


According to my handy dandy favorite fresh vegetable cookbook - Farmer John's Cookbook - The Real Dirt on Vegetables, John says when it comes to corn, "eat it now."  He goes on to write if you can't eat it now "leave the husks on and refrigerate the ears in a plastic bag for as little time as possible.  After about four days the corn's sweetness diminishes."    Did you know you can eat corn raw?  Fresh picked sweet corn is fantastic uncooked and garnish free.



We decided to freeze the corn so I thought I'd share how to easily remove the corn from the husk, with less mess.  After all the ears have been shucked and scrubbed to remove the silk, place a small cutting board inside a large bowl set in the kitchen sink.  


Using a sharp knife cut away the kernels from the cob.  Using the blade of the knife or a vegetable peeler, scrape the corn cob to remove the pulp and milk and any remaining kernels.  


I measured 2 cups of corn per freezer bag.  If you need a certain amount for a recipe this will help prevent waste, etc.  I marked each bag with "2 cups corn and the date."  For 24 ears of corn I got 20 cups of kernels.  That should last us for quite a while and now I have fresh corn ready for corn pudding, soups, stews and other dishes.



One of the guilty pleasures of fresh corn is to fold it into a spicy, cheesy pan of jalapeno corn bread.
This week we skipped dessert and saved room for cornbread.  This made for a fine dinner Sunday night.



Fresh Sweet Corn Bread

Fresh Sweet Corn Bread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup grated pepperjack cheese
1/2 diced jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with Pam (I used Baking Pam with Flour).  Set aside.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and jalapeno pepper in a large mixing bowl.  

In a separate bowl add the beaten eggs, buttermilk and cheese.  Mix well.  

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture in the well.  Gently blend until the eggs are incorporated, taking care not to over-mix.  Fold in the fresh corn, melted butter and rosemary.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  About 30 - 35 minutes.

(recipe adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook)

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Here are a few more of our favorite fresh corn recipes:




















If you have a favorite corn recipe you would like to share - please post a link in the comments section.  I have about 19 cups of corn in the freezer and would love to try a new recipe.  Thanks so much for stopping by - hope you have a terrific week.

Tricia

18 comments:

  1. wow Everything in this post looks so delicious, Tricia. Cornbread made with fresh corn must be extremely fresh and sweet. Love the basil tart with corn too. But..that cheesy corn chowder has won my heart over.

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  2. Since I just got my wisdom teeth out, I haven't been able to indulge in the corn on the cob EVERY SINGLE NIGHT tradition of my dad's. I literally just yelled to him to save my ears (of corn) so I could make corn bread. (Your corn bread, obviously.) I hope he listens. :)

    I have been making roasted corn recipes using frozen corn. There is one today, and then one from last week. I vaguely recall you might have commented on the guacamole, but the salsa I made (or reinterpreted) today is a Bobby Flay recipe I can't find on the internet, but is really simple. I also linked there to an old Cooking Light Roasted Corn + Black Eyed Pea 'salsa' for fish that I remember being wonderful, and you can find wit ha quick google search.

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  3. I really like your corn in the basket shot Tricia. We had the first corn from the garden yesterday (Silver Queen) and with 3 granddaughters here for the week, it was a big hit. Now it will be a competition with the coons for the rest of it. Your corn bread looks and sounds delicious as do the other dishes. We used to freeze corn but found we just ended up using it in veggie soup (store bought will work for that) so we just grow enough to eat (boiled, grilled, nuked, fried) and I also enjoy an ear raw while I'm puttering around in the garden. Therefore, I always tell folks corn doesn't really need to be cooked, but just warmed through.

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  4. Tricia, you are so smart to put up your own corn. There's nothing like it, my mom used to do it too and I remember helping in a hot, steamy un-air conditioned kitchen. But it was worth every bit of sweat and labor when you pulled out that yummy stuff on a cold winter day. Love your corn bread, I'd gladly skip dessert for a piece of that (as long as it was BIG!
    Oh, and your pictures are wonderful. I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at the beauty of God's creation all the way down to the small things, like ears of corn!

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  5. I am drooling over the corn bread, the beautiful fresh corn, and all the other amazing corn dishes you've made in the past! Love the idea of freezing the fresh corn kernels yourself. I've been stopping by the farmer's market here as many Sundays as I can so I need to work on this. And I, too, would skip dessert to enjoy your cornbread instead. Looks marvelous!

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  6. I love corn. I mean, I really LOVE corn. I grew up in Illinois surrounded by corn. Summer to me is corn. Your photos made me remember my mom freezing the corn. I never have and I don't know why. And oh, do I love cornbread. Breakfast,lunch, dinner, dessert, doesn't matter! Great post!

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  7. I know that I would really like your cornbread. So many recipes call for too much sugar whereas yours sounds just right. I especially like that you used brown sugar.

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  8. The best corn recipe is you corn pudding you make on holidays!! :)

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  9. You and your gorgeous photos make a very convincing argument for putting up fresh corn! Many years ago, I spent the summer with a family in Springfield, Illinois. The mom would wake up at the crack of dawn and go to a farm to get the ears as they were picked. Then she rushed them home, and I believe she blanched the corn before freezing it on or off the cob. This was supposed to somehow preserve the color and sweetness. I don't think I had ever had any kind of corn other than frozen from the supermarket before that, and it made a big impression on me.
    I know my family would love this corn bread. Slightly sweet cornbread is their favorite! I also appreciate your highlighting some past corn recipe posts that I missed!

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  10. Oh My how beautiful your photos are! Love the corn bread recipe- thanks for sharing~ have a nice week!

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  11. Tricia, just seeing all your beautiful photos and thinking about those recipes has me drooling! I do love me some fresh corn with ripe tomatoes. Heaven on earth. Hope you have come up with some wonderful ways to enjoy the rest of your corn, though you have plenty of great ones here! blessings and hugs ~ tanna

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  12. There is not a bad recipe or photo in the bunch. I really enjoyed this post. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  13. Amazing pictures, everything looks so appetizing!
    We have a lot of wonderfu,fresh corn here all year round so I'll try those recipes one by one, they all look so good :)

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  14. I love this post! I used to call my mom all the time with recipe questions, and since she's been gone I still wish I could just pick up the phone and get her cooking advice now and then. And as for the fresh corn, we must be on the same wavelength, I just made some roasted corn risotto today. I never thought to freeze corn, but I'm excited to try it. And your photos are gorgeous!

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  15. Tricia! You are a true friend and thanks for entering for our giveaway! xxoo

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  16. Oh, this fresh corn corn bread looks delicious! I haven't seen any Wisconsin corn available yet but I've been getting some good Georgia corn at the store. My parents used to have a big garden and grow corn too. It was always the best!

    I have a handy-dandy corn 'zipper' that I use for corn that I love. Can't wait to try this recipe.

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  17. Yum! That looks so good! I'm glad I found you through Virginia Bloggers :)

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