a few ways to cook corn

To cook corn on the cob: strip the husks and silks off your ear of corn. Bring a pot of water to a boil and carefully drop your corn into the pot. How long you let the corn cook is a matter of personal preference. It should only take a few minutes. I grew up in the midwest, where people say the best way to boil corn is to boil a pot of water and then walk through the kitchen with your corn. Good, fresh, sweet corn can be eaten raw. 

To make a simple corn salad to have with this week's crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, grilled trout or BBQ, clean off the husks and silks and break the ears in half. Standing it upright against a cutting board, cut the kernels off the cob by running the blade of your knife along the hard cob with one downward stroke. Saute the loose corn kernels in a little olive oil, stirring until cooked. Transfer the kernels to a bowl. In another small bowl add half a shallot or about 1 Tbs of minced shallots and 1/4 of a cleaned (no seeds) minced jalepeno (or grate it on a microplane.)  Squeeze fresh lime into the bowl to cover the shallots and jalepeno. Season with salt. (You can also add a touch of honey or agave to this if you want it a little sweeter.) Add the lime mixture to the corn to taste. The olive oil that you cooked the corn in should balance out the acidity of the lime juice, but you might find that you want or need more lime juice or olive oil. To this corn salad, you can add halved cherry tomatoes, sauteed diced zucchini and red onion, cilantro and/or basil, or avocado.

Succotash. The word succotash comes from a Native American dialect meaning “broken corn kernels” and usually consists of corn kernels mixed with other new world ingredients that were unfamiliar to the colonists. There are infinite versions of this dish, so you can make your own by combining sauteed corn kernels with any new world crops, such as tomatoes, peppers, summer squashes, green beans and lima beans. I like to dice and render Nueske bacon and then saute the corn kernels in the bacon fat and add in diced roasted zucchini. 

Or make creamed corn by taking the kernels off the cob using a box grater. This is a great way to make fresh creamed corn. You can add this creamed corn to  polenta or grits, cornbread or just heat it as is. There's a Fannie Farmer recipe for cornbread with a corn pudding filling that I think is genius. The take away is that once you make your cornbread, pour it into a cast iron pan and then add 1/2 cup cream mixed with 1/2 cup fresh creamed corn to the center of the pan. Just pour it in, and don't even mix it. Then bake it until the outside corn bread is done and golden. 

You can also make a corn stock using the bare cobs. To make a corn stock, just put corn cobs (after you’ve taken the kernels off) in a pot of water with an onion or green leek tops, some peppercorns and salt. You can add more aromatics if you have them (like parsley and cilantro stems, celery, a jalapeno or poblano pepper). You can use this vegan broth in any soup that would benefit from some sweet corn flavor (like black bean) or to cook cornmeal grits or polenta. 

You could also use the creamed corn to make Venezuelan fresh corn pancakes called a cachapas:

Combine 1 ½ cups fresh creamed corn with 2 Tablespoons masa harina and a pinch of salt. Cook pancakes on hot, oiled frying pan or griddle. Top with butter or cheese (Queso de mano is the traditional Venezuelan cheese, but mozzarella or queso chihuahua can also be used.)