Suzi's Blog

One More Time: Caramelized Corn with Shallots from I Love Corn

I posted this a couple of years ago, but it’s worth a repeat. Corn is appearing everywhere now: fresh, lovely, and ready for all kinds of uses. This recipe is from a brilliant little book called I Love Corn by Lisa Skye. If you enjoy corn, you’ll find this book a treat. If you not yet a corn fan, then take a look. Try this recipe or one of the others and you’ll soon understand why people gather around that bin of freshly picked corn and examine each ear like they were about to adopt and not eat.

Lisa has gathered sixty recipes from great chefs and cookbook authors from around the country to give us chapters on:

  • Breakfast [Sweet Corn Waffles, Jalapeno Corn Muffins, …]
  • Soups [Sweet Corn Soup, Fresh Corn Gazpacho, …]
  • Starters [Corn Ceviche, Roasted Corn Wontons, …]
  • Mains [Venison with Corn Cocoa and Chipotle Relish, Corn-Poached Halibut, …]
  • Sides [Corn Pudding with Bacon and Leeks, Warm Corn Soufflés, …]
  • Sweets [Cornmeal Cake with Honey and Bananas, Strawberry Corn Pone, …]

From the time you rise until you take that last snack, you can enjoy corn. I’m a big fan of corn side dishes which can provide so much contrast and interest to a meal. And, when I see a recipe that says “caramelized” then I perk up.

I made this caramelized corn with a couple of changes. I did not have shallots, so red onions were a fine substitute. And since “caramelized” implies sweetness, I wanted some heat. So I tossed in a diced poblano with the seeds.

To serve this dish, I used the corn husks arranged in a layer on the plate. It is beautiful to see, to photograph, and to devour.

You can obviously scale this recipe up and I suggest you do. Because the next day you can:

  • Perk it up with lime juice
  • Convert the leftovers into a salsa using some tomato products
  • Sparkle up your scrambled eggs for breakfast

In short, great recipe from a fine book.

Caramelized Corn with Shallots

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed, about 3 cups
  • 4 large shallots cut into ½-inch slices
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves plus 1 large sprig for garnish

Preparation:

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

Jalapeno Butter Revisted: You Want This on Your Corn

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Last year I posted the lovely recipe below for Jalapeno Butter from Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid. It’s a perfect recipe for this 4th of July. Jalapeno Butter on corn or on barbequed steak turns goodness into greatness.

Lately I have seen some options and tried some extensions. So, while you can follow the recipe below, here are ideas to expand your flavor repertoire.

First, you can keep the garlic and parsley and/or add some scallions for a modest flavor shift.

Second, instead of mashing everything together, use a food processor to generate a very smooth texture. A few seconds with soft butter will do it. You’ll want to pulse to mix, not to complete obliterate the jalapenos. What you should end up with is a lovely light green butter with speckles of dark jalapeno green.

Third, of course, you’ll want to use unsalted butter, then taste test. Some salt will probably be needed but it’s a matter of your preferences and the nature of your salt. This is the perfect time to visit that new salt store down the block and try something wild. A smoked salt would be perfect here.

Fourth, take out the parsley and replace with cilantro. Even more Mexican.

Ah, finally, if you have jalapeno and cilantro, you could put in half a ripe avocado for a guacamole butter.

And, really, really finally, if you have some or all of these suggested additions, you can edge towards a margarita flavor. Tread carefully here. Use 1-3 teaspoons of lime juice and/or 1-3 teaspoons of tequila. In the food processor, life is easy. Remember, you can’t un-lime and you certainly can’t un-tequila so start small and add.

In our latest batch, Suzen did the two jalapenos and one stick of butter.

“It’s a little too subtle I …” I stopped talking and went in search of a beer. Particularly if you use a high quality butter, the butter flavor and smoothness may come forward. You are about to fooled. It can take a few seconds for the backend hit of the jalapeno to register. Oh, but it will! So when you make this, already have the beer cold, out, and open. You’ll need it for the corn and steak anyway.

Jalapeno Butter 2012

Yield: ½ cup

 Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeno chilies
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preparation:

Grill the jalapenos, turning them occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.

Using a small paring knife, peel the jalapenos. Scrape out the discard the seeds and veins. Coarsely chop the chiles and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the butter, garlic and parsley and mash together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the jalapeno butter onto the center of a square piece of plastic warp. Roll it up into a 1-inch diameter log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set, or for up to 1 week.

 

Source: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid with suggestions by Brian O’Rourke

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55mm Macro Lens, F/4.0 for 1/32th of a second at ISO 400