A dozen corn… I don’t have that much dental floss!

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty sick of eating corn on the cob. I hate the feeling of all that corn stuck in my teeth! So, did some research and found some great ideas for corn once it is OFF the cob!! Here are a few of my favorites. Also, a corn ‘zipper’ really aids in getting the corn off the cob quickly! Here’s the one I use: http://www.chefsresource.com/kuhn-rikon-corn-zipper.html

If you don’t want to spring for a corn zipper, you can always use Paula Deen’s trick of putting a piece of corn in the middle of a bundt pan and using a sharp knife to slice off the kernels! Anyway, on to the recipes.

My very favorite corn recipe is this corn saute, from the magazine Fine Cooking! This recipe will also utilize the leeks found in this week’s box! Make this for guests, and they will keep coming back for more!

Corn & Mushroom Sauté with Leeks & Pancetta

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta (4 to 5 slices)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup small-diced leeks (white and light-green parts only, from 1 large leek)
1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
2 generous cups medium-diced cremini mushrooms (about 6 oz.)
2 slightly heaping cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 medium ears)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 to 2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme or oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
One-quarter lemon
3 Tbs. heavy cream


Heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta and cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until light golden and crisp, 5 to 7 min. Transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the fat in the pan.

Increase the heat to medium and carefully add 1 Tbs. of the butter to the fat. When melted, add the leeks and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the pancetta, until the leeks are softened and slightly shrunken, 3 to 5 min. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 min.

Add another 1 Tbs. of the butter, the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, the mushrooms, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are softened and a little shrunken (they will have given off a good bit of liquid), 3 to 4 min. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are lightly browned, 2 to 3 min. (the bottom of the pan will be quite brown).

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the corn. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the corn is tender but still slightly toothy to the bite, 3 to 4 min. (It will begin to intensify in color, glisten, and be somewhat shrunken in size, and the bottom of the pan will be brown.)

Remove the pan from the heat, add the fresh herbs, a few generous grinds of pepper, and a good squeeze of the lemon. Stir in the heavy cream. Let sit a minute or two and stir again, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (moisture released from the vegetables as they sit will loosen the bits). Season to taste with more salt, pepper, or lemon. Crumble the reserved pancetta over top and serve warm.

photo: Scott Phillips

So… that will get rid of about 1/2 dozen of your corn… what to do with the rest? Soup is always a great answer to using left over produce. There are all sorts of wonderful corn chowder recipes out there… but this is actually my favorite corn soup recipe, from Bon Appetit.

———————————————————————————

Summer Corn Soup

Soup:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs, cobs broken in half and reserved
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Ground white pepper

Garnish:

  • 2 thick bacon slices, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh corn kernels cut from about 1/2 ear of corn
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Crème fraîche,* stirred to loosen

For soup:

Bring milk and corncob halves (not kernels) just to boil in heavy medium pot. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep while sautéing vegetables.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes (do not let onion brown). Add corn kernels, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water, herb sprigs, bay leaf, and milk with corncobs. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Discard corncobs, herb sprigs, and bay leaf. Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Strain into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season soup to taste with salt and white pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

For garnish:
Cook bacon in small skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in corn, green onion, and pinch of cayenne. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide among bowls. Sprinkle garnish over, drizzle with crème fraîche, and serve. * Sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Keep checking back… I’ll be whipping up my SIL’s birthday meal this week and plan to use up as much of my fresh produce as I can!

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