Meatless Monday's Fresh Summer Corn

This is traditional Street Corn, but you can take all of these flavors and create a summer side dish! The wanderings across the area farmer’s market is beginning to yield some new items.  A summer time favorite is fresh...

This is traditional Street Corn, but you can take all of these flavors and create a summer side dish!
This is traditional Street Corn, but you can take all of these flavors and create a summer side dish!

The wanderings across the area farmer’s market is beginning to yield some new items.  A summer time favorite is fresh corn on the cob.  When I first moved to the South I did not know what Fried Corn was, but I assumed it was like the cans of creamed corn I remembered as a kid.  However, I quickly learned that this was not the case and a Southern Skillet of Fried Corn was a very different culinary treat.  I also quickly discovered that many hands added many things to this skillet on the stove over the cooking process.

I remember gathering in the kitchen of a Grand Matriarch’s home with her two daughters at her side when I asked if there was a recipe for this Fried Corn.  All three ladies proceeded to remind me that I did not yet know southern cooking, but I was welcome to watch and learn.  This was a family who hosted Sunday Dinners that everyone wanted to be invited to attend.   The cast iron skillet held kernels from at least 6 cobs of corn that were cut from the husk and milked.  I had witnessed the cutting of the corn from the husk, but I did not know the significance of the milking of the cob.   This was described as running the dull side of the knife down the cob to release the milk from the ear.    Interestingly, the two daughters both started this project and the mom proceeded behind the adult daughters and milked the cobs again.  All of this goodness was added to a cast iron skillet with melted and slightly browned butter.  Then each and every one took their hand at seasoning this pot with salt and pepper and a bit of cayenne pepper even made its way to the pot.

Silly me, I thought at this point the Skillet Corn was done.  After about five minutes or so, this is when the heavy cream was added and then some of the herbs from the garden.  Then the tasting spoons made their appearance and then the seasoning dance began again.  It held on the stove top as the other creations were brought to the dinner table.    In my quest for healthier, I am sharing my version of Skillet Corn.

Skillet Corn – A healthier version

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 corn cobs, kernels removed and milked
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs, thyme is my favorite

Directions:

  1. Warm a non-stick skillet
  2. With a sharp knife, remove the corn cobs
  3. Milk the corn cobs
  4. Add the milk and the corn to the heated skillet
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes
  7. Add in fresh herbs

Enjoy this dish hot and often in the summer with some vine ripened tomatoes!

Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled Corn on the Cob

This is how it is served on the street, but you can take all of these flavors and create a summer side dish!

Mexican Style Street Corn

Mexican Style Street Corn
Mexican Style Street Corn

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of fresh corn on the cob, roasted on the ear
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deveined and deseeded and finely chipped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup fresh Mexican queso fresco crumbling cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of a lime

Directions:

  1. Roast the corn over a gas flame or charcoal allowing the kernels to get brown/black from the char.
  2. Set aside and cool.
  3. Cut the corn from the cob and place the kernels in a mixing bowl.
  4. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter, mix in the shallots and sauté for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  5. Add in the jalapeno and garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the corn and the chopped cilantro and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  7. Then crumble in the Mexican cheese and mix in with the corn mixture.
  8. Turn off the heat and add in the mayonnaise.
  9. Serve Warm.

This week’s USA Weekend highlighted a Corn Salad with Fruits and Vegetables that I want to try from the Culinary Institute of America.  The recipe was intriguing with many ingredients I would not usually combine.  I am sharing it here.

Corn Salad with Fruits and Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 3 ears of sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup of haricot verts, cut into 1 –inch pieces, blanched
  • 1 ¼ cup seeded, diced cucumber
  • 1 cup sliced radishes
  • 1 cup roasted golden beets, diced
  • 2 cups golden cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup pitted sour cherries, halved
  • ¼ cup shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Directions:

Combine the vegetables, fruits and shallots in a large bowl.

  1. In a smaller separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and fruit and toss gently to combine.
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow the ingredients to marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. After removing from the refrigerator, add in the herbs.
  5. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  6. Serve as a salad course or as a side vegetable with grilled chicken or fish.

Of course there is always the corn on the cob, hot off the grill as a traditional way to enjoy this summer vegetable.  I will almost always include a fresh tomato with my corn.

What is your favorite way to enjoy fresh summer corn?