FRESH CORN So many recipes call for "fresh corn kernels" but give no hint, not one, about how to easily cut the corn off those unwieldy cobs. (Hmm. Language question: why is it called an 'ear' of corn? Corn, are you listening? I digress.)
Just take a knife and hack away? Sure, that works. But here's the elegant way to cut corn off the ears, capturing all the kernels in a bowl and catching all the 'corn milk' too.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
A sharp knife
A NOTE on FROZEN CORN Sure, frozen corn is awfully convenient, no corn cobs or corn husks or cutting to contend with. But during the height of summer, when sweet corn is oh-so sweet and juicy, there's just no beating fresh sweet corn, both straight from the cob and the kernels themselves, for salads and soups and stews. Once learned, this technique takes just a minute or two. Soon enough, you'll fall in love with fresh sweet corn, saving the frozen stuff for the depths of winter.
STUMBLEUPON: For all who use the great discovery tool StumbleUpon, I'd love for this post to be 'stumbled'!
| All together now: Always always ALWAYS wash fruits and vegetables before cutting. Corn too, even though you're not going to actually eat the husks. (Husks? That's the official name of the leaves that surround an ear of corn.) |
Why? Cuz there's dirt and gunk on the outside. It will transfer to your hands, the cutting board, even to the knife as it slips from the unwashed inedible exterior into the clean edible interior. You want that dirt and gunk in your food? No. Okay? Got it? Say it with me now, "Yes, Mom. I will always always ALWAYS wash fruits and vegetables, first thing."
OH. And if you want to cook the corn right in its husk? Try the gorgeous Grilled Sweet Corn with Spiced Lime Butter.
|Otherwise now's the time to call the kids and send 'em to the back step with an armful of corn and a bucket or a paper bag. |
Show them how to tear back the husks, a strip at a time. It helps to grab some of the silk with each strip.
|Once all husks are torn back, yank them off the stem. For later, leave the stem on to use as a handle.|
|Isn't an ear of corn just so pretty?! It's a perfect food, clean and ready for good eatin'. If you're hungry, toss one in the microwave, right now, see Quick Ears of Corn in the Microwave. Or throw one on the grill, see Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Browned Butter.|
OH but check first. You might need to rub the kernels with the flat of your hand to brush off that pesky silk.
If you've got a compost pile, add the husks and silk to the pile.
|Find a bowl of the right size.|
It needs to be wide enough that you can run a knife all the way down the ear, right to the tip.
It needs to be shallow enough so that you can run a knife all the way down the ear, right to the tip.
Got one? Good.
|Grab hold of the handle with one hand, then, top to bottom, cut off a swath of corn kernels with a sharp knife. |
Sure, you could use a cutting board instead of a bowl. But then the kernels would fly all over the place. This way, magic! the kernels collect all neat-and-nice-like in the bowl!
Should you decide to use a cutting board rather than a bowl, turn the ear on its side to cut the first swath. From then on, put the flat side down, then cut another swath. This is actually a really good way to cut the corn off the cob -- but the milk is so special you really don't want to miss it and so need a bowl anyway.
|Go ahead now, cut off a few more swaths of corn kernels until the ear is bare. I'll wait.|
Expect to collect about a half cup of corn per ear.
|Now comes the really good stuff, the corn milk. This is how you 'milk' an ear of corn, releasing the corn milk that is ever-so-corny-good.|
Run the knife down the cob again, all around, but this time using the FLAT side of the knife, letting the corn milk collect right there in the bowl. No cutting board can do this, right?
Some ears have a lot of milk, covet these and go buy more, now. Others have less milk but will still gather up a bit.
~ How to Freeze Corn ~
~ Raw Corn Chowder ~
~ Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad ~
~ more corn recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad ~
~ Fresh Creamed Corn ~
~ Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle ~
~ more corn recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade