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.
Tomato Corn Bake with Havarti
2 ears fresh corn (1 1/2 cups kernels)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin havarti cheese*, grated
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut corn kernels from cob. Place corn and tomatoes in roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with garlic. Roast 20 to 25 minutes until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile in small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove corn mixture from oven and pour into a 1-quart casserole dish. Add mayonnaise mixture, havarti and basil. Return to oven to melt cheese, about 5 minutes.
*Butterkäse, fontina or Monterey jack may be substituted.
From The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Fire-Grilled Corn on the Cob
4 ears of corn
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of grated parmesan
1 teaspoon of paprika
For Crema Sauce: Mix sour cream, heavy cream and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
For Corn on the Cob:
Select corn with a moist stem, and glossy, pale yellow silk. Pull back the husk so you have a handle for the finished product.
Place ears of corn on the grill with a low-heat.
Give the corn a quarter turn every 4 to 5 minutes. The cooking process should take about 15-20 minutes, depending on your grill temperature.
While corn is grilling, add grated parmesan and paprika to a medium sized bowl and mix to combine.
Take corn off the grill and brush it with crema sauce, then sprinkle on parmesan and paprika mixture.
Recipe serves 4
Inspired by LongHorn Steakhouse’s menu
Gouda Shrimp Salad with Acai Dressing
1 1/2 cups whole wheat or farro
3/4 cup acai juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups kale or micro-greens, coarsely chopped
1 cup red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 cups corn kernels
6 ounces Wisconsin smoked gouda cheese, diced
3 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons chia seeds
DIRECTIONS: Cover farro with water and soak 12 hours or overnight. Drain.
Bring 1 quart water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add farro and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Drain and cool.
In glass measuring cup, combine juices and honey. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of this mixture into gallon zipper bag and add shrimp. Marinate 30 minutes to overnight. Refrigerate remaining dressing mixture until ready to use.
In medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and marinade from bag and sauté 2-3 minutes, turning as needed. Add greens, peppers and corn; sauté, stirring frequently until shrimp is full cooked.
Combine farro with shrimp mixture and cool. When ready to serve, add reserved dressing, gouda cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with chia seeds.
You may substitute spelt berries if you cannot find whole wheat or farro. You may substitute pomegranate, cherry or your favorite juice for the acai juice.
From The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Cheesy Corn and Fontina-Stuffed Bread Bites
12 small Kaiser or other dinner rolls
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin fontina cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
With small knife, cut out 1 1/2-inch-wide circle in top of each roll and pick out bread to create small well, leaving at least 1/2 inch of bread at bottom. Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine shredded fontina, corn kernels, shallot, cilantro, jalapeño pepper and mayonnaise.
Mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon about 1/4 cup mixture into each roll so mixture fills well and is mounded over top. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Alternatively, you may prepare on the grill. Heat grill to medium-low indirect heat. Place large piece of foil over grill grates. Place rolls on foil and cover grill for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and rolls are slightly toasted. Remove and serve immediately.
From Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Mexican Grilled Corn
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream or Mexican crema
1/4 cup cotija cheese, divided
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chili powder
8 ears shucked corn
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 lime, halved
Smoked paprika (optional) and additional lime wedges to garnish
Preheat the grill to medium high.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise; sour cream; 3 tablespoons of the cheese; garlic and chili powder. Transfer the mixture to a plate, and spread it out a bit.
Brush the corn with the melted butter. Grill the corn for 8 minutes, until it is nicely browned in spots. Roll the corn in the mayo mixture, and place on a serving platter. Squeeze the lime over the corn, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of cheese, then sprinkle with smoked paprika if desired. Add the lime wedges, and serve immediately. Makes 4 to 8 servings
— From The Associated Press