“Market Driven” Corn

Corn Los Angeles

It’s grill time again! Come on, it’s summer… Beautiful weather, bountiful harvest, what better time is there to cook outside? And what better to cook than summer corn? The markets are full of gorgeous yellow and white corn, white being more starchy than yellow. This week Matt and I found some gorgeous looking yellow corn, and sampled it (a must!) by taking off a raw kernel to discover how juicy and sweet it was. Slam, dunk, delicious! We bought ourselves a bundle.

Corn is best used as soon as you bring it home, and when purchased fresh, its uses expand far wider than the grill. Matt even makes a Corn and Mascarpone Lasagna that has been selling out faster than he is making them. Lisa at Cake Monkey says they are her favorite flavor, and let me tell you, she is a reliable source to go by being that Matt regularly trades her different varieties of Lasagna Cupcakes for delicious Cakewiches and Lil’ Merries.

Corn can be cut off and eaten raw with avocado, red bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, purple onions, and cilantro, salt and pepper, and maybe some chili powder or cumin and garlic, olive oil and lime juice for a delightful salsa.

For a salad, add to the mix above any soft herb, and any soft fresh cheese like goat or feta or mozzarella or even shaved parmesan. Throw in some toasted nuts for crunch and richness and put in green beans, or fresh market beans from Dexter of Jazzy Bean Farm who if mildly prompted will happily sing you a ditty on the virtues of eating clean and raw.

Corn Los Angeles
For the dressing use a red wine or cider vinegar and olive oil, or to add more dimension, caramelize some chopped onions then add red wine vinegar and a little sugar (brown or granulated) to make a sweet and sour dressing rather than using raw onions. Toss with some wild rocket arugula (which won’t wilt) and then you have salad for a couple days.

After you have cut off all the corn, good gracious, do not throw out the cobs! Instead take a cheese grater and slide your cob along it to catch any kernels you may have missed and the creamy juice that can be used as a fat free alternative for mayonnaise. Next take those naked cobs and throw them in a large pot of water which you will bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes and then drain, reserving the liquid. Now you have a vegetable stock that you can refrigerate for a few days or freeze for up to a month. Waste not, want not.

Corn Los Angeles
Back to the kitchen outdoors and the most decadent spin on grilled corn. First and foremost, purchase the best tasting corn you can acquire and know that if the farmers have a problem with you sampling it, then they’ve got something to hide. Do not shuck your corn, but simply pull the coverings back, leaving them intact, but do make sure to remove all the silk. With a separated piece of husk, twist the ones jutting from the ear and tie it as if it were a ponytail for a dazzling visual effect that will impress everyone at your BBQ.

Next have standing by a big pot of boiling water with maybe a wee bit of sugar thrown in to blanch it off (kitchen term meaning to barely cook, 3 minutes or so for corn). You will also need some melted butter, but it is preferable to take it to the next level and brown it for a nutty, sweet appeal. Adding to that you can either gently cook down some cream with garlic or just thin out some crème fraiche with a little water for a Holy Moly!! sauce. If you have any of the aforementioned cheese or some soft herbs, all the better.

Once you have plunged the corn into the water for a couple minutes, get your grill going on and fire up those babies. Your aim is a handsome char. After you have removed them from the grill, dress your corn with the butter and then all those other goodies, not foregoing salt and pepper of course.

Corn Los Angeles
I’m not kidding, I can eat this all day. If you cannot, then store the leftovers well wrapped in your refrigerator and cut off the kernels for the salad we just went over, or throw it in with any grilled chicken you may have and a little mayonnaise or the creamy corn substitute. If you have some cooked pasta and a basket of noteworthy cherry tomatoes, combine them with your leftover grilled corn and call that dinner.

Tara Maxey is the sweet side of Heirloom LA, with Matthew Poley handling the savory side.

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