I can’t believe it’s already August. It feels like I’ve only begun to gear up for summer and here we are winding down. Life in New York City has me in such a whirl that I forgot all about corn on the cob. Until two weeks ago this easy, great tasting, quintessential summer vegetable had been gracing tables across America, but remained absent at my own. A quick breeze through Union Square market reminded me that I better get with the program because a fresh vegetable bounty like this comes around only once a year. At the market I bought four ears from a farmer named Jake who literally sang his products praises. Back home I shucked the husks and submerged the tiny kernelled bi-colored cobs into salty, boiling water for about 5 minutes. There is a lot of contention out there about how long corn on the cob should be cooked. A good rule to follow is the younger the corn, the shorter the cooking time. Some need only be cooked long enough to heat through while others may require a good 10-15 minutes. Experiment a little and let a few pricks with a fork be your guide. Regardless of cooking time, I like to drain my ears early, place a lid on the pot and let the corn steam itself for a few minutes. I’m probably breaking some fundamental culinary rule, but I like the deep yellow color and tightly sealed look the corn gets after its steam bath. To finish, I get really generous with the butter and sprinkle on a tad more salt for good measure.
For those of you that haven’t caught up with the season, I urge you to go out, do yourself a favor and buy some fresh corn. It’s great low maintenance eating.

Note: While visiting my parents in a suburb of Boston, I happened to catch a glimpse of corn prices in the local supermarket four ears for $2.59, a whole 59 cents more than my NEW YORK CITY farmer’s market bunch. I have to give Jake the farmer a hand -- his corn was tender, a lot sweeter, and less expensive. Sometimes buying from the local guy is as nice to the wallet as it is to the palate. Fantastic!

1 comment:

  1. Here's the story on corn. When you first see it in the supermarket, that corn comes from New Jersey. So it's probably been picked a week or so before it reaches the supermarket. By now the corn you find in the supermarket is probably native, but it's been picked who knows when. If you want to get native corn, you should buy it from a farm stand where it has just been picked that day or maybe the day before. What happens with corn is that the second it is picked it starts loosing sugar and is replaced with starch which makes it mushy after being cooked. I never buy corn in the supermarket. What you want are nice crisp kernels after cooking. It is called butter and sugar but most corn sold is butter and sugar. I buy the corn at a farm stand which is also generally more expensive but well worth it. I take the husks off completely when I get home, put the corn in a plastic bag and then into the frig. I think leaving the husks on draws moisture from the corn kernels into the husks. I don't know that for a fact but somehow that's what I've always done. I try to cook it that night and no later than the next night. I boil up enough water to cover the corn adding about a tablespoon of sugar to the water. Once the water is boiling, drop in the corn and cover till it comes back to a boil. Once it's back to boil I cook it for no longer than 5 minutes. If the corn is particularly large, maybe a couple of minutes more. However, particularly large corn is not the best. I immediately remove it from the water and butter it. Lee and I are native corn lovers so I go the extra mile to get good corn as it's only around for a month and a half or so. But if it's bought and cooked right, it is the greatest thing to eat and we look forward to it every year. I can't remember if there was another question you asked me on the phone as I was so tired when I listened to my messages after being out all day and up early. J.