Today marks the official first day of summer. With that said, most folks have begun eating lighter meals throughout the day. Summer is a great season due to the longer days and great weather. For me, its more about the availability of great produce that is around from late spring through early fall.
If you enjoy corn on the cob, this is the perfect time to indulge in purchasing and cooking with it. In this post, I’m going to share:
–A few things about corn you may or may not of known
–How to reuse your corn on the cob scraps before throwing them away
–A few of my favorite corn recipes
Good to know about Corn:
Did you know Corn is America’s number 1 field crop?? Corn is also used to produce fuel alcohol. Fuel alcohol makes gasoline burn cleaner reducing air pollution and it doesn’t pollute the water. Corn grows in ears each of which is covered in rows of kernels that are protected by the silk like threads called corn silk and is encased in a husk.
For some, corn may be a staple (tacos, polenta, tortillas) and for others corn is a snack (popcorn, chips, summertime cookouts). Corn has a unique source of health benefits. Corn isn’t on the dirty dozen list, however there have been recent articles on organic corn finding pesticide use somewhere in the farming process.
When you purchase corn, its best to use it the day of purchase. If you aren’t using it right away you can store corn in an air tight container or tightly wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator. Don’t remove the husks, for this keeps in the flavor of the corn.
Think before you toss:
I try to recycle and reuse as much as I can out of my food scraps. I think of all the people and other countries that aren’t as fortunate to have what we have not to mention my own food cost coming from my wallet. After enjoying some wonderful corn on the cob a few weeks back, Brandon mentioned a clever idea of making a corn stock from the cobs. Its very simple to do, all you need is a few ingredients and your done. With this stock we made two very delicious meals. The smell of sweet corn lingered in our apartment for days, this method is worth it.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Actual time: 2 hours
-4 or more corn cob scraps, kernels removed
-1 Yellow onion, rough medium dice
-4 Sprigs of thyme
-4 Quarts water
Method of prep:
-Dice up Onion.
-Add onion, corn and thyme into pot. Cover with water.
-Bring to a boil on high heat.
-Reduce heat to medium cover with a lid and let simmer for 2 hours.
-Set in refrigerator, keeping cobs and everything in place and let steep overnight. Make sure to keep lid on as well so refrigerator flavors don’t mingle with the flavor of stock.
-Strain the next day into a plastic container or freezer bags. You can freeze if you don’t plan to use right away.
Lastly I would like to share with you a couple great recipes you can use this corn stock for. You get a great sweet corn flavor from this stock and is a great substitution for chicken stock or water in polenta. When I make polenta I don’t use a recipe. I go with the flow because Ive made it many times.
Polenta is commonly used in dinner entrees to pair with proteins such as lamb or beef. I enjoy eating polenta as a breakfast item. Below is an example of a breakfast Brandon made using polenta.
Another great use for Corn stock is Corn Chowder.
-2 Heads fresh corn
-1 Cup Diced yellow onion
-3 Cloves garlic, minced
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-Blonde roux, if needed
Method of Prep:
-Cut corn kernels off of cob. Reserve the cob.
-Sweat onions, garlic, and corn until fragrant and translucent. Lightly season in layers.
-Add in enough cream to cover the corn, bring to a simmer.
-While corn and cream is coming to temp., cut cob into 1 inch sections and add into pot.
-Simmer corn and cream for ten minutes with cobs.
-Steep for another 10 minutes by turning off the heat. Leave on the stove.
-Discard cob pieces.
-Lightly blend with immersion blender. Adjust consistency with more cream or roux.
-Season with black pepper, salt and a splash of hot sauce. For this recipe I recommend Franks Hot sauce.