Yesterday's chat got readers all lathered up over corn, which has made its glorious debut at local farmer's markets.
On Sunday, I picked up some that had been grown in Berkeley Springs, W. Va., and it was out of sight, some of the best corn I have eaten in the last few years.
Because of its hidden husk-cloak, corn is always a mystery to the shopper. Can you really tell if the ear you picked will be free of worm holes or rot as well as sweet and tender to the bite? If you've got a secret for weeding out the goodies, please share in the comment areas below.
The next question in corn world is: Cob or kernels? Do you eat your corn right off the cob, typewriter-style, like my kid brother, Tim, or do you prefer to shave it off for a more kernel-y experience? Share your preferences here! (A reader poll would be good right about now.)
As for me, I prefer kernels over the cob. I love how little time it takes to cook them, in salted boiling water, which I add to various veggies and herbs that I've got on hand, for a spritzy, light summer salad. Start to finish (after husking the ears and removing kernels from the cob), this is a 15-minute recipe.
Based on yesterday's chat transcript, it looks like I've got company. Have a look at some of the ideas that were shared:
Gaithersburg, Md.: Need a quick suggestion. I have fresh green beans in the fridge, plus a bag of corn kernels I cut off the cob from last night's leftovers. I'd love the mix the two into a good side dish but really don't know what else to add. Thoughts?
Kim O'Donnel: Little tomatoes. Chopped red onion or shallot. Herbs, like basil and mint. Olive oil. Salt. Lemon or lime. Red bell pepper into dice. I made corn salad last night and was thinking green beans would have been a nice add-on.
CORN!: I love corn salad - Corn, tomatoes, peppers (red and green), red onion, cheese (I use smoked gouda) lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil. It makes me very happy.
Later that day, I received an e-mail from "Mike" in Burke, Va., who added to the corn kernel frenzy.
He writes: "I have dental problems and cannot do corn on the cob. What I usually do with fresh corn is essentially make a succotash. Strip the kernels off, toss them in a saute pan with 3 tablespoons melted butter, add salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar. Then I saute the corn for a couple of minutes and add roasted, peeled chiles (usually poblanos), a drained can of beans (pinto or black) and 1 tablespoon of chili powder.
Continue sauteing until some of the corn gets a little brown around the edges. Great sweet-hot dish."
Now it's your turn to share with the class. What's your favorite way to get corny?
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