was going to begin this story in a different way, but I
scrapped that idea because I really want to tell you
love corn, right? Everybody loves corn. But removing the
husk, and especially the silk, can kind of be a hassle.
worry. I have a solution.
cook your corn — still in the husk — in the microwave
for four minutes. When it’s done, cut off the stem and an
inch or two of the ear from the stem side. Then grab the
stem-end of the ear with a towel (it will be hot) and pull
the husk off the other end.
the silk will come off with the husk. The rest of the corn
will be perfectly cooked and ready for butter.
that I have that out of the way, I should confess that I
made corn four different ways this week and not one of them
benefited from that method. But still, it’s a good
technique to know when making corn on the cob.
ways I made corn this week highlight its versatility and
flavor. It’s a vegetable that stands on its own but also
plays well with others.
I used it to make soup, one of the best soups I know how to
make and, to be frank, the reason I chose to cook with corn
this week. The recipe comes from the famous Rancho La Puerta,
just across the Mexican border from San Diego.
been described as the first destination fitness resort and
spa — it opened in 1940 — and one reason for its
enduring fame is its food. Actually, if the only thing they
made there was Grilled White Corn Soup with Leeks and
Roasted Peppers, that would be reason enough to go.
it is fairly hearty, this soup is just as good served
chilled as it is hot. The flavor comes mostly from lightly
seared kernels of corn, plus leeks and a roasted red pepper.
An assortment of aromatics — celery, garlic, thyme, bay
leaf — provides a sturdy backbone for the wholesome and
satisfying flavor of the corn.
love my next dish even more than I do the soup. Corn Pudding
Soufflé brings you the best of two worlds. It’s corn
pudding, but it’s also a soufflé.
a savory dish, so there is nothing sweet about it except the
corn, which is sweet enough. A hint of sharpness comes from
minced shallot, but a luscious creaminess is provided by
crumbled cheese. I used feta, with its saltiness providing
an extra dimension, but goat cheese or cheddar would work as
rest of the magic comes from eggs. The yolks combine with a
roux to beef up the richness, while the whites make the
soufflé magic happen. It rises up, golden and proud, but
because it is also corn pudding it is sturdier than other
stumbled on my next dish in a vegetarian cookbook, and was
so intrigued I had to try it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure
it would be good. To be extra-honest, I kind of thought it
then I made it. And I am man enough to admit that I was
very, very wrong.
begin with corn cut off the cob. You add it to a sautéed
combination of sweet onion, lemon zest, orange zest and
thyme, and cook until tender.
weird, right? But it’s weirdly delicious. The citrus zest
blends surprisingly well with the assertive thyme, and it
all meshes with the familiar comfort of corn. As a side
dish, it is well balanced and wholly unexpected.
couldn’t end my survey of corn without delving into elotes,
the dish popularly known in this country as Mexican Street
Corn. It is said to be typically sold in Mexico by street
vendors, but it is gaining popularity in this country as
easy to see why. You begin with corn cooked on a grill or a
grill pan; it creates a deeper, richer flavor of corn. You
brush it with butter while it cooks and slather it with
either mayonnaise or crema (a Mexican sour cream) mixed with
cotija cheese or feta and sprinkle it with powdered hot
chile pepper. It’s an unforgettable way to bring out the
best in corn.
WHITE CORN SOUP WITH LEEKS AND ROASTED PEPPERS
sweet corn, white or yellow, shucked and silk removed
leeks, white part only, washed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch
teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the pan, divided
rib celery, minced
clove garlic, peeled and minced
vegetable stock or water
teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
teaspoon salt, or more to taste
teaspoon black pepper
tablespoon minced chives
Over a medium bowl, cut off the corn kernels with a sharp
knife. You should have about 2 1/2 cups.
a lightly oiled, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, sear the corn in
batches over medium heat until it has a few black spots.
aside 1/2 cup of the corn and 1/4 cup each of the diced
leeks and pepper. In a 4-quart pot, heat 2 teaspoons of the
olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining corn, leeks,
peppers, celery and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring often, for
5 minutes. Add the stock, thyme, bay leaf and salt.
Cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf.
In a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Add
the black pepper and taste for seasoning, adding more salt
Just before serving, sauté the reserved corn, leeks and
peppers in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and add them to
the hot soup. Garnish with a pinch of chives. This soup is
also excellent served chilled.
serving: 105 calories; 3 g fat; no saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 4 g protein; 19 g carbohydrate; 7 g sugar; 2 g
fiber; 1,025 mg sodium; 34 mg calcium
from "Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho la Puerta,"
by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider, with Jesús
corn kernels (from 2 or 3 ears), divided
tablespoons minced shallots or scallions
tablespoons all-purpose flour
cup crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese or cheddar
and white pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 6-cup soufflé dish.
Put a kettle of water on to boil. Puree 1 1/2 cups of the
corn with the milk for a full 3 minutes, then pour it into a
fine sieve and press out the liquid with a soft rubber
spatula or wooden spoon. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the
shallots and cook 1 minute. Stir in the flour, then slowly
whisk in the corn-milk mixture and cook, stirring
constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the
remaining 1/2 cup corn, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a
pinch of white pepper. Slowly stir 1/2 cup of this mixture
into the yolks to warm them, then pour back into the pan,
Beat the egg whites until they hold firm peaks, then fold
them into the base. Pour the batter into the prepared dish,
set in a baking pan and pour the boiling water into the pan
(but not into the dish with the mixture in it) until it
comes halfway up the side. Bake until a golden, puffy crown
has emerged and the pudding is sturdy, about 1 hour.
serving: 228 calories; 11 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 162 mg
cholesterol; 12 g protein; 23 g carbohydrate; 9 g sugar; 2 g
fiber; 263 mg sodium; 185 mg calcium
analysis used feta cheese, whole milk, and large eggs.
from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," by Deborah
WITH LEMON, ORANGE AND THYME
tablespoons peanut oil
small sweet onion, finely chopped
tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
tablespoon finely grated orange zest
teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
off the kernels from the ears of corn.
a large skillet, heat the peanut oil. Add the onion, lemon
and orange zest, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cover
and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the
corn. Cover and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until corn is tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, if
serving: 124 calories; 6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 3 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 2 g
fiber; 27 mg sodium; 5 mg calcium
from "Claire’s Classic American Vegetarian
Cooking," by Claire Criscuolo
STREET CORN (ELOTES)
tablespoons butter, melted
cup feta cheese or cotija
tablespoon powdered hot pepper, such as cayenne pepper or
chile de arbol
grilling corn in the husk: Soak corn in cold water for at
least 15 minutes; use a weight such as a plate to keep them
fully submerged. Place corn on grate over a medium-hot fire
(or grill pan) and cook, turning frequently, until the husks
are blackened. When cool enough to touch, remove the husks
and silk, and place the corn back on the grate. Turn
frequently until browned on all sides, basting occasionally
with the melted butter.
grilling corn out of the husk: Microwave corn for 2 minutes.
Place on grate over a medium-hot fire (or grill pan) and
cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides,
basting occasionally with the melted butter.
While the corn is cooking, mix together the mayonnaise and
the juice of the limes. Slather this mixture over the cooked
corn, and sprinkle with cheese and powdered hot pepper to
serving: 280 calories; 23 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 29 mg
cholesterol; 5 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 6 g sugar; 2 g
fiber; 218 mg sodium; 57 mg calcium
analysis used unsalted butter and cotija cheese.