Fresh corn on the cob is such a delicious treat during the late summer and fall. Freezing the corn will extend the enjoyment through the winter.
A few years ago, a friend recommended Canadian Early Supersweet hybrid as a good variety of corn to grow and we have been enjoying this variety ever since. The sweet delicious ears grow eight to 10 inches long and can be enjoyed without butter or salt; they are that tasty. We have extended our corn season by making a second planting three weeks after the first. Now we enjoy fresh corn late into the fall.
Cooking corn in the microwave is quick and doesn’t water down the fresh flavour. Husk, wash and place four cobs in a covered casserole, microwave on high four minutes, turn cobs and microwave for another two to four minutes, as needed. Allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!
Cooking corn on the grill imparts a slightly smoky flavour and charred colouring to the kernels. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the silk and all but the innermost layer of the husk. The single, thin layer of husk provides enough of a barrier to stop the corn from drying out, but allows the smokiness from the grill to penetrate the kernels.
Brush the grill with canola oil then place the ears directly on the grill. Rotate the cobs every two minutes, until the husks are scorched and the kernels are deep golden yellow, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the corn from the grill and allow to cool for several minutes. Peel back the layer of husk and enjoy the juicy, sweet and smoky corn topped with cheese, fresh herbs or simply butter and salt.
Alternatively, you can cut the kernels off the cobs and use in soups, muffins, salads, salsas and more. Freeze the kernels to enjoy their delicious flavour during the winter. Adapted from cookincanuck.com
To enjoy corn all winter freezing is the easiest way to preserve it.
Husk ears, remove silk and wash ears.
For whole-kernel corn
Place ears in one gallon of boiling water and blanch for three minutes after the water returns to a boil.
Cool ears and cut kernels from cob at about three-fourths of the depth of kernel. Do not scrape the cob.
For cream-style corn
Blanch ears for four minutes in boiling water. Cool ears and cut kernels from cob at about one-half of their depth. Scrape the cob with a knife to remove the remainder of the kernels and combine with half-kernels.
To freeze corn-on-the-cob
Blanch small ears for seven minutes in boiling water; medium-sized ears for nine minutes; and large ears for 11 minutes.
Pack corn in containers, leaving one inch of headspace at the top or place in plastic bags, remove as much air as possible and seal bag. Freeze and use within six to eight months. >Adapted from Penn State Extension.
Corn zucchini chowder
Corn chowder is delicious on cold fall and winter days. It is a wonderful way to enjoy that fresh corn flavour long after the corn season.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tbsp. water 30 mL
- 2 tsp. bacon fat or butter 10 mL
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 c. carrots, peeled and diced 125 mL
- 1/2 c. stalks celery, diced 125 mL
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme 2 mL
- 1/4 tsp. dried basil 1 mL
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 60 L
- 4 c. chicken broth 1 L
- 1 c. 1% milk 250 mL
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 c. zucchini, chopped 250 mL about 1 large cucumber size zucchini
- 1 1/2 c. corn kernels, frozen, canned or grilled, about 2 cobs 375 mL
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan 60 mL
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves 30 mL
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and water and cook bacon until brown and crispy, about six to eight minutes.
The water will help the bacon cook evenly and will evaporate.
Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside.
Pour all of the bacon fat from the pan into a dish to reserve.
Add two teaspoons of bacon fat back to the pan add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about three to four minutes. Stir in thyme and basil and stir until fragrant, about one minute.
Add the balance of bacon fat back to pan, add in flour and stir until lightly browned, about one minute.
Stir in chicken broth, milk, bay leaf, zucchini and corn. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about three to four minutes.
Add all but a tablespoon of bacon back to the soup. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is tender, about five minutes, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove bay leaf.
If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached. If desired, use a hand blender to purée some of the chowder to thicken it.
Serve immediately, garnished with any of the following: bacon, Parmesan cheese, parsley or smoked paprika.
For a lactose-free version, almond or soya milk can be substituted for the 1% milk.
Feather-light corn muffins
Cornmeal muffins are often heavy. By replacing some of the cornmeal with kernel corn this version is light and fluffy.
- 1 c. all-purpose flour 250 mL
- 1/4 c. sugar 60 mL
- 1/2 c. cornmeal 125 mL
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 7 mL
- 1/4 tsp. salt 2 mL
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. milk, divided 60 mL
- 1/2 c. butter melted 125 mL
- 1/2 c. sweet corn kernels 125 mL
Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. The batter will be lumpy. Fold in the corn. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for five minutes.
Zucchini cheddar corn muffins
To the above recipe add the following with the corn:
- 1/2 c. shredded zucchini 125 mL
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 250 mL
- 1 – 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (optional)
Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: email@example.com.