In this week's Patchwork, Kate Gridley celebrates the joys of fresh sweet corn. Though eating it plain is delicious, there are lots of other things to do with fresh corn. Here are just a few.
Corn Salad With Black Beans
Soak 2 Cups of dried black beans overnight. Drain the beans, put in a large stockpot, cover with new water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer the beans until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in large bowl. Roast one green bell pepper and one red bell pepper, peel, slice and add to beans. Also add 2 cups of chopped plum tomatoes, 1 cup sliced scallions, both white and green parts, and one cup fresh cooked corn kernels.
In a small pan, toast 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds. Pulverize the seeds with a mortar and pestle till powdery. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cumin and coriander, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of lime zest, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture, stir, add 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, stir, cover and set aside for one hour. Serve as a salad at room temperature.
Fresh Corn with Cilantro
Note: I am including two recipes here one hot and one cold, but with almost identical ingredients, the first from my mother, and the other from Amanda Hesser.
1) Take 7 ears of fresh corn, and cut the kernels off uncooked cobs by standing the ear of corn vertically into a cooking pan, and slicing down with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Add either 1/4 cup of water , OR milk (which is slightly sweeter), 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, plus salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring. Lower heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.
2) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add six ears of shucked corn, and once the water returns to a boil, cook for four minutes. Drain and cool by running corn under cold water till you can handle it. Using a small knife, scrape the kernels into a medium bowl, and then run the knife at an angle down the cob to squeeze out any milky pulp. Crack 6–8 peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, and mix the coarse pepper with a shallot lobe that you have minced finely, along with 2 1/2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves; add this mixture to the corn. Then fold in 1/4 cup best quality olive oil. No seasonings are necessary, though some folks like to add a little salt. Serve as a salad.
My Grandmother’s Baked Corn Pudding Recipe
Amusing Note: My Irish grandmother was no cook except on the odd occasion she chose to bake a cake. She was such an ardent conversationalist she would forget that she was holding the electric beater. She often gesticulated to emphasize a point. So her kitchen ceiling was covered with sprays of chocolate batter. On the other hand, my German grandmother was an extraordinary cook whose recipes included precise and sometimes peculiar instructions, as you will see in her corn pudding recipe from Wisconsin.
Butter a casserole dish. Scrape 12 ears of par boiled corn. Add salt and pepper, and several pats of butter. Beat one egg in a porcelain tea cup. Then fill the tea cup with half and half cream and pour over the corn. Mix lightly. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until it puffs up and is brown.