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 9×9 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

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18 Comments

  1. says

    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. :)<br /><br />I have been making roasted corn recipes using frozen corn. There is one today, and then one from last week. I

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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! <br />Oh, and your pictures

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

  6. says

    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

  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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! <br /><br />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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