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Corn, O, Corn! - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
terribleturnip

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Corn, O, Corn! [Jul. 14th, 2008|01:56 pm]
terribleturnip
I have no idea why, despite the big brain AND having a full working (including many college credits) knowledge of pricing and consumer behavior, I cannot just buy four ears of corn, but feel compelled to "get" the half dozen or dozen price. I guess I always think "oh, I'll have those two extra ears as a snack one day or for lunch or...."

But really, it just means that I will wind up with 2 (or more) less than fresh ears that I can either allow to become a science exhibit in the vegetable drawer, or find some clever way to use it.

And sure there are all sorts of options for less than stellar corn -- but most of them involve baking or soups or...and I have a ferocious case of The Lazy. And a desperate need to put dinner on the table* NOW.

*Disclaimer: Like we eat at a table...



For starters, if you don't regularly keep shallots in your pantry, remedy that. When you find nice ones, load up on them. Then find an excuse to use them. You CAN make this without shallots or any kind of onion. You COULD substitute a little finely diced onion. But I'm telling you, it's better with shallots.

So, a couple of ears of corn, shucked. Now cut off the kernels. (I heard you whimpering. This is not hard. You don't need a special tool. You have a sharp knife. Snap each ear in half, so that the cut half can sit down on your cutting board. If you're clever and a spazz like me, you'll put the cutting board into a shallow, rimmed baking sheet so that the kernels don't go all over the place. If you don't have one, go get one. But in the meantime, rollup a dish towel to sit between the cutting board and the freedom of the counter edge and use it as a (insert engineering or warfare term here) or barrier to contain the kernels. Because they will skitter onto the floor, embed themselves in your shoe treads and trust me, I have learned the hard way that those expletive-deleteds are slippery.

So, you've cut off the corn kernels. A little corn silk or husk in there just makes sure everyone knows it's homemade, so don't sweat it. Set them aside, chop your shallot and saute it in some oil of choice until it's softish. Then add the corn kernels, a pat of butter, a pinch of sugar and salt. Now saute the corn until it starts to brown here or there. Turn it off and let it sit a minute or two. Salt and pepper if it needs it. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits. Mmmmm. It was worth chasing corn kernels across the counter, wasn't it? Chives could make their way in at the end, there.

Dress it up by tossing in grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes cut in half, just as the corn begins to brown and cook til the tomatoes start to wrinkle. Then dash in some balsamic vinegar -- and if you have basil in the fridge or garden, chiffonade and throw in. (Chiff is tiny strips...roll the leaves up and cut across into tiny strips. It's better than chopped. really.)

The original or the variation will freeze just fine.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mistressfetch
2008-07-14 06:33 pm (UTC)
When you slice the corn off do you also run your knife down the ear to get out the good starchy stuff or is it just the kernels only?
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-14 07:35 pm (UTC)
Milk it, baby!

Frankly, I cut it so close to the cob, there's nothing left to be pressed...but sure, whatever I can get out of it. Lessen it's for company and I want it to be pretty then I'll just get nice clean kernels. And slurp the corn juice myself while cleaning up.
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[User Picture]From: meapet
2008-07-14 06:43 pm (UTC)
Do you teach people how to cook?
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-14 07:36 pm (UTC)
I used to do classes from time to time...
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[User Picture]From: meapet
2008-07-14 07:38 pm (UTC)
Would you teach someone some of the basics they may not have if they asked you really really really nicely?

I didn't know shallots could last for awhile.....

Edited at 2008-07-14 07:38 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-14 07:53 pm (UTC)
and if you have basil in the fridge or garden, chiffonade and throw in.

I'm confused. That's Basil in my userpic. If I try to slice him in little strips he will bite my hand until he reaches bone. I don't think putting him in the fridge or garden first will make that much difference.
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[User Picture]From: mistressfetch
2008-07-14 11:30 pm (UTC)
I have the same problem :-) See user pic :-)
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-15 06:22 am (UTC)
I think my Basil would eat your Basil for lunch. He just looks too damn friendly. I am doubly confident of this since I actually met your Basil at VARF, and concluded he is made of marshmallow creme and strawberry lip gloss.
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From: pyrateatlarge
2008-07-14 11:31 pm (UTC)
ever heard of popcorn?
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-15 12:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well THAT icon really helps my appetite. Yurk. Take it awaaaaayyy....

Besides popcorn comes from a different variety of corn....
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[User Picture]From: 3fingeredsalute
2008-07-15 02:31 am (UTC)
Your post was prescient. I was curious about how to interpret your cutting board/baking sheet/dish towel contraption, and then one of the only two food blogs I read regularly posted about another "trick of the kitchen". A bundt pan!

I just love Elise -- almost as much as you! (But she shares more recipes... so far.)
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-15 06:17 am (UTC)
I realize this is a hideous nitpick, but it's a Bundt® pan. I used to live a couple of miles from the NordicWare factory in St. Louis Park, MN, where the Bundt® pan is still made. You don't want to piss off those Norskies by infringing their trademark, especially when they are specialists in heavy duty die cast aluminum.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-15 12:37 pm (UTC)
No, not, that's just dumb. Because your knife is going to slip and you're going to scrape the side of your Bundt Pan. And if you have a cheap knockoff pan, it's not heavy enough and will tip and you'll cut off your hand. Or if it's the real thing, it's nice and heavy and you're going to wreck your $50+ pan cutting CORN.

I'm talking about a sheet pan. Google it, or imagine a cookie sheet, but it's got low sides, with rolled edges, about 18x13 for what we in the trade call a half-sheet, since a full-sheet probably won't fit in your oven.

They are indispensible, especially if you get a nice heavy commercial quality ones. Roasting vegetables, or anything. You have to have one if you're going to make any of those cakes that you roll up around a filling. But also, just the right size for zuzdge containment -- I'm guessing that most of your cutting boards will fit right in one, thus keeping the corn kernels from escaping, the steak or turkey juice from running all over your counter, etc.



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[User Picture]From: 3fingeredsalute
2008-07-15 04:49 pm (UTC)
Heh -- I have sheet pans, and know what you were referring to. I was trying to imagine your configuration of the pan plus the cloth plus the board....

My Bundt® pan (thank you, lowlandscot) is old and isn't all that expensive or nice. Plus, I use a removable silicone liner, so I don't need to maintain the original non-stick surface inside. (The silicone makes for MUCH easier one-piece removal of the cake, too.) I was thinking one might drape a dish-cloth inside the Bundt® pan if you needed to protect the surface from all but the most direct of dagger-plunging knife strokes. It all depends on your comfort zone, I imagine.

The obvious benefit to me of the cake pan shape is the hollow conical center, which keeps the cob from slipping and sliding across the flat surface of the sheet pan. At least that's where the majority of my corn-kerneling injuries have occurred. The fact that the deep bowl prevents the corn from flinging and flying about is only one of the added benefits.

Edited at 2008-07-15 04:50 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: buglefly
2008-07-15 12:16 pm (UTC)

Life as a Foodie!

Everything I know about cooking I have recently learned from the Food Channel, but can never remember anything to put it into practice, which is probably why we order delivery so much!

So the other night - we're watching "Iron Chef", and Symon takes some spice (I think cumin) and uses it with some chocolate - so Lady Bugg has to go give it a try with her 99% choco - I passed. I'm a snickers kind of guy and will stay that way cause the 60's was good to me (snack candy wise).
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-15 12:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Life as a Foodie!

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