Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cooking Sweet Corn

Cooking Sweet Corn
  • Sweet corn is a treat to be savored every summer. Enjoy it in all its varieties, from golden to butter-and-sugar. The month of August always finds us chowing down on my favorite food and doing a lot of extra flossing! Here's how to cook sweet corn to bring out its incredible flavor.
A stock pot and lid
2 ears of corn per person
Butter, salt and pepper


  • Choose your sweet corn carefully: Whatever you do, don't buy the plastic-wrapped pre-husked corn. It's usually overripe and stale by the time it gets to the supermarket. In the Midwest, it's called 'feed corn', as in only suitable for feeding livestock. Pick sweet corn from your favorite roadside stand instead.
  • If the tassels are dry, or the outer leaves of the husk are yellowing, put it back. Choose ears that have tight, bright green husks and healthy, light golden tassels. You can be assured those are the freshest.
  • Pull back the husk. The kernels should be firm, uniform in shape, and free of bugs. If the kernels are too big, put it back - it's overgrown and won't taste good.
  • At home, strip off the rest of the husk and cornsilk. Rinse thoroughly in tap water.
  • In your stockpot, bring enough water to cover all the ears to a rolling boil.
  • When the water is boiling hard, turn the burner off, drop the ears in, and cover tightly. Let sit for 5 minutes. The worst thing you can do to sweet corn is overcook it or boil it for ten minutes or more. Just let it sit in the hot water, and it will be perfect every time.
  • Sweet corn in season doesn't need butter, salt or pepper - the natural flavors are perfect all by themselves. That doesn't mean you can't slather and season if you want to. Enjoy!

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