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)
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.