It’s early October. Very early. October 1. In the supermarkets and at farm stands and farmers markets, there is corn aplenty. Oh, the government is shut down today, but eating goes on.
Corn is a basic food that can be employed in a myriad of ways. Sometimes, simple is the best.
With ears fresh from the farmers market, Suzen gave me the standard order: “Husk.”
“Why don’t you ever do this?” I asked.
“It’s a guy thing. You know that,” came the response.
It’s not a guy thing. It’s a messy thing. So, I did it. Of course, I cheated. I’ve written here about how to easily cook corn in the husk and then get the corn out: 2 ears for 4 minutes in the microwave with the husk on, take them out, cut off the stock end, hold them upright by the tassel, and shake until the corn slides out. You are left holding the intact husk with no mess.
I did not microwave for 4 minutes here, because the corn was headed for a skillet. But I did do the ears, 2 at a time, in the microwave for 2 minutes and then easily removed the husk. All intact. No corn silk floating in the air and landing all over the kitchen. Suzen was happy. The cats, however, were disappointed.
This is one of those “you can do it your way” recipes. It calls for shallots and you can add more or less. Or use onions. Add some garlic. Use the thyme or not. Add another herb. A pinch of sugar? I’m sure that’s a typo. A few tablespoons of brown sugar would not hurt at all.
The husk may be long gone, but I would say the flavor here is “husky.” Suzen ignored my pleas for more sugar, so this dish is not unduly sweet. Yes, the corn is “caramelized” but those natural sugars have a distinctive almost earthy flavor. “White” is not how I would describe this dish. “Delicious” is.
You can buy a lot corn, scale this recipe up, and then have the corn for leftovers for a few days. Warmed corn, again in the microwave, and a burger is a pretty good meal. French fries? No, try caramelized corn.
This recipe is from a great cookbook, I Love Corn, by Lisa Skye. I happen to love single theme cookbooks. If I have corn, how can I use it? I don’t want just the 10+ ideas or so in a standard cookbook, I want a lot of ideas with imaginative variation from appetizers to dessert. You can find I Love Corn on Amazon for the bargain price of $8. That’s a steal.
Yes. Dessert. Corn ice cream.
Caramelized Corn with Shallots
Yield: serves 4
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed [about 3 cups]
- 4 large shallots, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- Pinch of granulated sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 large sprig from garnishing if you wish
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the corn, shallots, sugar and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the corn is caramelized, about 5 minutes
Stir in the thyme and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, Garnish with the sprig of thyme if you desire.
Source: I Love Corn
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8 for 1/100 sec at ISO 1000