“The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye. . .”
I’ll let you finish singing the phrase and the rest of the song.
Hopefully, you are now flooded with endorphins from singing and not wondering how elephants got into the corn fields of Oklahoma. And hopefully you are remembering how wonderful, sweet and versatile fresh corn can be; nothing tastes like freshly picked corn, procured from your garden or the farmer’s market.
Last month, I suggested you cut raw corn right off the cob into a salad with blueberries and other vegetables.
For pure simple pleasure, you can’t beat corn cut directly from the cob and warmed in melted butter. I have been known to down two cobs-worth by myself.
And there’s so much more! I was excited to discover the July 2016 Kitchn blog by Sheelah Prakash, the Senior Contributing Food Editor at Kitchn and the author of Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. She offers some unusual and tasty ideas for topping corn with unexpected and easily acquired ingredients.
With thanks to Sheelah, I share some of her suggestions, including three ways to cook your fresh corn.
Cooking Your Corn
1. Boil it.
The most classic way to cook corn — boil for three to five minutes in a big pot of salted water.
2. Microwave it.
This mostly hands-off method calls for leaving the corn in their husks and microwaving them on high power for three to six minutes, depending on the number of ears you’re doing at one time (three minutes for a single cob).
3. Grill it.
If you already have the grill going, pull the husks down and toss your corn cobs on for about 15 minutes, turning frequently for smoky, charred results.
Favorite 1-Ingredient Toppings
Olive tapenade is salty and briny, giving the corn a Mediterranean flair.
Furikake — This Japanese seasoning is made up of seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, dried fish, and salt — it’s crunchy, salty, and completely unexpected.
Miso paste, in whichever color you choose, counters the sweet corn with its earthy, complex flavor.
Hot, Hot, Hot!
Harissa, flavored with garlic and other spices like cumin and coriander, is the perfect complement to sweet corn.
Tajin, a popular Mexican spice powder made up of ground chili peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice, is both spicy and sour.
Chili-garlic sauce. This fiery Asian condiment usually flavors noodles and dumplings, but also perks up corn.
Spicy and Sweet
Chile pepper-infused hot honey is a nice balance between sweet and spicy.
Hot pepper jelly — Its sticky-sweet yet spicy characteristics coat the kernels.
Herbes de Provence, a dried herb blend of savory, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and often lavender, transports your corn to the south of France.
Chimichurri, the herby sauce that’s most often spooned over grilled steak or other meats, also gives the corn a garlicky tang.
Herbed goat cheese gets extra creamy and melted when spread over the hot corn kernels.
Nutritional yeast’s nutty, cheesy flavor, most often sprinkled on popcorn, is a natural choice for fresh corn.