Monday, July 26, 2010

My Ode to Corn

Oh my, I don't think I can tell you how much I love corn!

With our CSA, we've been getting at least 6 ears of corn a week. Some may get tired of all this corn, but not I. I usually run out before I get to try all the recipes I want and have to wait until the next week. There was actually a week where I bought 3 or 4 extra ears of corn at the Farmers Market just because I needed them for all of my ambitious goals for the week.

Corn is such a versatile plant and is truly an amazing thing in and of itself. So much of our world relies on corn since every part of corn is able to be used. I did learn an interesting fact this week. The minute that corn is picked, its kernels begin the process of turning to starch. Therefore, corn is best used (and sweetest) within the first couple days after it's been picked. Does that mean you can't use it later in the week? Of course not. But it sure does make you wonder how long it's been since it's been picked when you buy it at the grocery store. Just another reason to go local and support your friendly farmer neighbors!

I've used corn in at least 2-3 meals a week, but I thought I'd share my favorites that I've repeated a couple times already this summer.

The recipe for Corn with Bacon and Green Onions was definitely a hit on the 4th of July, so we ate it again for my dad's birthday alongside some Spinach-Walnut Chicken. I believe this dish is an excellent compliment to any meal...that is if it doesn't steal the show!

Another absolute favorite is Summer Stir-Fry! This is originally from Pioneer Woman and it is absolutely delicious! You could easily do it with chicken instead of shrimp, but oh boy, that shrimp is so yummy! My friend, Faith, saw this recipe the same time I did and we made it within a week of each other. Once she told me how truly delicious it was, I just had to make it right away. We've both had to limit how many times we make's just that good! You can check out the recipe here on her blog or you can scope out the original over at Pioneer Woman.

Summer Salsa is an absolute must! Got this recipe from Faith last year and it is so refreshing! Please take note that it is not a spicy salsa, but a sweet one full of great CSA vegetables. I recommend it with some organic blue corn chips for an awesome snack!

Finally, I'm leaving you with Fire Roasted Corn Salad. This is a recipe from a little ole gourmet cooking store that I love and I just think this is such a tasty side dish! It's got everything I love in it!

You need:
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 lb. feta cheese, diced

NOTE: I halved this recipe and still made plenty for just the two of us. The only thing I didn't halve was the feta cheese because, well, I think feta cheese is fantastic and should be used liberally.

In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, ground cumin, and chili powder. Pour in the 3/4 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking to make a vinaigrette. Season with salf and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare your corn. You can either grill it by brushing some oil on them and turning them over a medium-hot fire until lightly charred for about 10 minutes.....OR if it's absolutely sweltering outside and you really don't feel like creating a fire and grilling, boil your corn until cooked. You don't have to do it for too long because you don't want to overcook your corn until it's mushy.

Using a knife (or a corn zipper) cut off all of your kernels and place in a large bowl. Add your tomatoes, onion, cilantro, feta, and the vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly. I think it's great when you serve it immediately, but I also like it when it's cooled down. Makes a great side dish.

And yes, all of these recipes were made with organic ingredients and were all gluten-free...except for that Vanilla Porter in the above picture. That's just full of gluten!

I love corn!

Now go buy some and share some more yummy dishes with me!


Jennifer said...

These all look so yummy! I tried the corn salad at WS the other day and it was great. I could only have one little sample cup though :( Darn tummy!

Faith said...

First off, thanks for the link love! :) Secondly, I'm so glad you posted this because I had forgotten about the corn with bacon and green onions! I must try this! And the fire roasted salad sounds great too! YUM

Maria said...

Oh Jen, that's right! I guess there'll be no ode to corn for you!

Faith- you must try both recipes. They are delish!