Corn’s Time to Shine: Six Recipes that Showcase the Seasonal Staple

Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto

A just-picked ear of corn is one of the great culinary jewels of the plant world. Here’s how to make it the centerpiece of your next meal, with wines recommended to bring out its sweet and savory sides.

 



Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
How to Shop For and Cook Corn

Learn how to pick the best corn at your local market or grocer, and get tips for all the ways to cook it, from the stovetop to the grill.

How to Shop for Corn

Look for bright green, tightly wrapped husks that are firm to the touch. The bases shouldn’t be brown, and the fluffs of silk at the tips should be moist, golden and smell sweet. Feel free to use white or yellow varieties interchangeably in the recipes here. Just keep in mind that one ear of corn generally yields about ¾ cup of kernels.

How to Cook Corn

There’s no wrong way to cook corn, of course, but here are two simple methods to know.

Boiled: Remove husk. Drop corn into boiling water for five minutes.

Grilled: Leave husk on. Cook corn on a hot grill, turning often, until husks are blackened, about 10–15 minutes.

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Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
Simple Corn Soup

Creamy yet light, this soup of puréed and seasoned corn works well with white wine.

In large saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 2 cups minced onion or shallot. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups chicken stock and 4 cups corn kernels. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour mixture carefully into blender. Purée until very smooth. Strain into pot and keep warm. If necessary, add stock to thin or cook further to thicken. Garnish with pesto, if desired. Serves 4.

Pair with Chardonnay

Try: Alma Rosa 2018 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills); $30, 91 points.

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Penne with Sweet Corn, Saffron and Smashed Cherry Tomatoes / Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
Penne with Sweet Corn, Saffron and Smashed Cherry Tomatoes

A quick and effortless corn stock in this recipe provides effortless, subtle corn flavor this pasta dish that serves up to four people.

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Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
Savory Corn Pudding

A luxurious side dish, this corn pudding can also make for an elegant entrée with a green salad and glass of Riesling.

Heat oven to 350˚F. Pulse 4 cups corn kernels in food processor until roughly chopped, then transfer to large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 4 eggs, 1½ cups milk, 3 tablespoons flour and 1½ teaspoons salt, and whisk to combine. Pour into buttered 9-inch square pan. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes. Serves 4–6.

Tip: Though a fantastic side dish, this is also an easy entrée when served with a hearty salad.

Pair with Alsace Riesling

Try: Domaine Charles Baur 2018 Eichberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace); $36, 95 points.

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Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
Blank-Canvas Corn Salad

With all the colors of a rainbow and a cacophony of versatile flavors, this corn salad is a bona fide crowd-pleaser.

Dress just-cooked, cooled and shucked corn kernels with equal parts lime juice and olive oil or mayonnaise. Mix corn with any combination of halved cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, minced red onion, chopped herbs and crumbled feta or goat cheese.

Tip: To remove kernels easily, break cobs in half and stand them vertically in a bowl. Run a short serrated knife down the sides of each cob.

Pair with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Try: Huia 2020 Made With Organic Grapes Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $19, 88 points.

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Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
Grilled Bone-In Pork Chops with Corn and Salted Cucumber Salsa

This meaty dish with its accompanying veggie and corn salsa medley makes a delicious and hearty savory-sweet meal.

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Photo by Chelsea Kyle / Food Styling by Jamie Kimm / Prop styling by Megumi Emoto
Corn Ice Cream

Never had corn ice cream? Well, here’s your chance. With a little sugar and some whipped cream, this might become your favorite flavor yet.

In blender, purée 2 cups corn kernels, 1½ cups whole milk, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon corn syrup until sugar dissolves and mixture is very smooth. Strain into large bowl, then stir in 1½ cups cold whipping cream. Transfer to ice cream maker, and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1½ quarts.

Pair with tawny Port

Try: Quinta Santa Eufemia NV 20 Years Old Tawny (Port); $58, 93 points.

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Published on September 11, 2021