Grown on Corn…

corn picThere are few things better than a Midwestern summer night.  And perhaps nothing better than enjoying one of the Midwest’s most iconic crops.

That’s right, sweet corn.  I grew up on a farm in Iowa surrounded by some of the world’s most fertile soil.  Our garden flourished with lush vegetables, lined with bountiful apple trees and raspberry bushes.  Every summer we would pick bushels of corn, shuck and cut crisp kernels from the cob on the tile table Mom designed and made herself.  We cut it off outside so the flying juice and bits didn’t litter the kitchen floor and walls.  And the flies seemed to stay outside.  Every time a big bowl was full, we carried it to the kitchen where water and sugar was added to the pot of corn and boiled a couple ;minutes, just enough to preserve the crispness.  Once cooled, we double-bagged the kernels and layered them in the deep freeze to be frozen and enjoyed throughout the cold winter months.  This is just one way my family and I would perepare sweet corn. Here are some other ideas:

Have you ever tried cutting the kernels from the corn and frying them in a pan?  Start with just a bit of olive oil, toss in the kernels and cook them until lightly golden and caramelized.  Add some chopped fresh tomatoes, onion, and cucumbers, along with herbs such as cilantro.   Mix in some rice vinegar, salt and pepper, and you have the perfect Midwestern summer salad.

For other great recipes using corn, check out the cookbook “Chefs at the Market”.  You can find it at milwaukeepublicmarket.org.

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