Fresh Indiana sweet corn recipes – Get more HERE.
Originally published in the Greenwood Daily Journal August 27, 2011
Corn is a little bit like zucchini in that if you are growing it and you have it ‘coming out your ears’ you may run out of ways to cook it. I know that a few times over the summer we bring in a huge haul of ears to shuck, freeze for later and eat.
A few Saturdays ago I went out in search of local Indiana sweet corn and I did not come home empty handed. I went to my favorite corn vendor at the Greenwood Farmers Market ,My Dad’s Sweet Corn, and purchased 2 dozen ears. Not only is their corn amazingly fresh and sweet but they present it to you in a sturdy, reusable net bag.
My kids are still at the age where I can set these bundles of Indiana sweet corn in front of them and they see it as a challenge. They race to see who can strip the husks and silk the fastest with first prize going to who can clean them the best. I have never bothered to tell them that there is no prize, they are quick and efficient shuckers!
One of our family favorites has always been corn chowder. I love corn chowder because it is so versatile. Add meat, lumped lobster or crab, blue cheese or feta or diced fresh veggies on top and it is a hearty summer meal. What I don’t like about chowder is that it can really pack a caloric and fatty punch. Therefore I would eat less of this chowder that I loved.
Last summer I decided to make my usual recipe except this time leaving out ALL of the milk/cream, most of the flour and almost all of the butter. What I got was a rich chowder that gets its body from pureed corn. The base of this soup has an intense corn flavor that I got from using what most would throw out: the boiling water and the cobs.
Cut Down Corn Chowder
8 large ears of corn: cooked and kernels cut off.
Reserved boiling water, keep hot
1 cob, after you have cut the kernels off
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium sized sweet onion
drizzle of olive oil for pot
1 small can of chicken stock, you can use broth but I like the body of stock so thats what I used
2 TB of butter
2 Tb of flour
1 bunch of chives, chopped
Garnish of your choice : cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, fresh veggies, blue cheese, lobster, crab or other meats
Salt/Pepper as needed
To a heavy soup pot add the olive oil, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent. Add the butter and flour to form a light ‘Roux’. When this is incorporated but not brown add the broth. Stir until it is a nice little base. This whole process should take 5 minutes.
Now add ALL but a handful of the kernels to the pot. I reserve some to throw in at the end for texture but you can do what you want ???? I also add 1 cob to this mix. It gives a little more ‘corn’ flavor and helps make the soup creamier. It should look like this:
|I used 1 cob, it makes a flavor difference….|
Now at this point I added 2 ladles of boiling water from the corn pot. Why use regular water when you can use this wonderful boiling water? I didn’t want to waste it!
I let this simmer on a low setting for a while but that was because I was doing other things. If you are crunched for time raise the temperature , stirring often and boil for 15 minutes.
Now comes the fun part ???? Remove the cob. I used my immersion blender to puree the contents of my pot. I do this for 2 reasons.
1. So my son doesn’t see the onions…..
2. Because without the cream, milk and butter to ‘cream’ the soup pureeing gives it the extra body it needs.
I then add back the reserved kernels and any other boiling liquid I feel I need to get my desired consistency. Just before serving I added the chopped chives.
This made a large pot that we ate as a side and the rest went in the freezer. I added just a pinch of cheddar cheese and more chives for garnish. My kids opted for sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.
Black bean corn fritters are another one of the recipes I love to make with fresh Indiana sweet corn.