Summer heat and the drought have taken their toll on our farmers and our food supply. Still, there are options to savor the best of summer: fresh corn. To help you really enjoy corn, take a look at I Love Corn by Lisa Skye [published by Andrews McMeel].
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
- 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
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
Flavored butters are an interesting method for adding pointed flavor to dishes. Used during the cooking process, a flavored butter will sharpen the taste of meats, poultry and vegetables.
This flavor combination, garlic and shallot and onion, is recommended by Bobby Flay in his very descriptive new book Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries & Shakes. I have adopted Flay’s recipe here by doubling the shallot and cilantro. The resulting butter has a beautiful mixed yellow-green color with the cilantro streaking through the butter after a tour in the food processor.
I used this butter on double duty to cook a burger. I melted some of the butter in a cast iron skillet to cook the burger, and, while cooking, I topped each side of the burger with a dab so that the cold butter could melt and penetrate the meat. One taste of the burger and I immediately sensed the wonderful flavor added by the butter.
Flavored butters are easily made and have enormous flavor impact. Give this combination a try or feel free to improvise with your own ideas. Herbs, chili powders, seeds, and onion varieties can all be part of your experiment.
Garlic Shallot Cilantro Butter
Yield: ¾ cup; yield will vary proportionally with lemon sizeIngredients:
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 cloves garlic
1 shallot, skinned and chopped
6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. The butter will start to clump into a ball.
Scrape the butter from the processor bowl into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Allow the flavors to mesh for an hour before using. Refrigerated, the butter will keep for a day.
Source: Brian O’Rourke adapted from Garlic Butter in Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries & Shakes