Corn on the cob is everywhere during the summer. You'll find it at backyard barbecues, the local carnival, county and state fairs as well as on the family dinner table.
Whether you simply enjoy it slathered with butter, prefer it blended into assorted recipes or love munching on Mexican elote with cheese, mayo, butter and chili, corn is one of the most popular warm weather treats.
Home cooks and chefs alike often put corn dishes on the menu at restaurants or for the family dinner at this time of year. The time period for corn to be at its peak in the Midwest is usually mid-July to mid-August.
According to whatscookingamerica.net, the easiest and fastest way to cook corn is to boil it. "Corn should be cooked quickly and not left to sit in the boiling water very long. Fresh corn is at its best when it is very milky inside. If overcooked, it will dry out," the website states.
"Corn is something I enjoy," said Nathan Sears, executive chef at theWit, a hotel in Chicago.
"As long as I've been cooking, I've been cooking with corn," Sears said, adding that he's creating some new corn dishes for theWit's State and Lake restaurant.
Sears is currently creating a corn risotto for the menu. The chef said he's experimented with other recipes for the sweet golden produce through the years. In the past, Sears has developed recipes for succotash and an Appalachian-style dish using fermented corn that's similar to sauerkraut.
Jens Dahlmann, executive chef of Longhorn Steakhouse, suggests that home cooks who find themselves with a surplus of corn use it in a grilled salad. Dahlmann enjoys grilling corn and believes it's a perfect accompaniment to various dishes. Longhorn Steakhouse serves a grilled corn salad with a hickory-smoked filet.
When it comes to purchasing corn on the cob at the grocery store or farmers market, Sears recommends shoppers look for corn that "feels heavy" and has "nice full kernels with a good structure."
For Sears, a Mexican elote with butter, lime, crema, queso fresco and chili is always a satisfying treat. Corn, in general, he said, is a favorite treat.
"I have no problem sitting in the backyard eating corn slathered with butter and salt," he said.
If you're looking for some good corn recipes, try the following dishes.