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eG Cook-Off #83: A Bounty of Sweet Corn


David Ross
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11 hours ago, Smithy said:

Some advice, please!

 

I caved in to temptation and bought more corn. A dozen ears. We're having some tonight, on the cob. We're having a (more photogenic, I hope) revamp of the previous corn dish tomorrow night. I blanched these ears tonight, for preservation purposes. Top photo: the blanched cobs, chilling. Bottom photo: same cobs, draining.

 

20190820_205554.jpg

 

Here's my question: I want to freeze the kernels off these cobs for later use. Is it better to freeze the cobs, then scrape off the kernels? (Can that even be done by a mere human?) Or am I better off scraping the kernels off the cobs, spreading them on a baking sheet and freezing them?

 

(It really is lovely corn. I'm not even a big fan of corn on the cob -- I think I've said so before -- but this corn on the cob was good. It was sweet -- some of you true corn lovers might think it too much so -- and fairly tender. For tonight's dinner I boiled an ear for each of us, probably not long enough. We thought the flavor fine but the texture a tad tougher than it would have been if I'd microwaved them as we usually do.)

 

Back to the question: The blanched corn is now drained and sitting on a plate. Freeze it to de-kernel later, or refrigerate it to de-kernel tomorrow and freeze afterward?

 

A couple of years ago I stripped corn off the cob and froze it.  We found it tough, and this was very fresh corn.  But then, I did not blanch it first so maybe that was the problem?

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I've had better luck with cutting the kernels off the cob, then vacuum sealing.  It wasn't a scientific experiment but when I did the same thing with corn on the cobs and froze those the kernels didn't seem as crisp.

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4 minutes ago, David Ross said:

I've had better luck with cutting the kernels off the cob, then vacuum sealing.  It wasn't a scientific experiment but when I did the same thing with corn on the cobs and froze those the kernels didn't seem as crisp.

 

Did you blanch it first?

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9 minutes ago, David Ross said:

Yes but really quick, probably only a minute or so.

 

Thsnk you.  I'll try some again then.  I'll blanch it and vacuum pack it which I didn't do last time.

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The corn ears I blanched are still in the refrigerator, awaiting further treatment. I'll probably try freezing some and not others, then see how the collection of the kernels goes.

 

In the meantime, tonight I took care of the rest of the corn. The process was very similar to what I posted a few days ago, but the meat was beef sliced thinly for a different dish altogether that I hadn't gotten round to cooking. I spiced the beef and the final melange with Berbere seasoning, an Ethiopian(-style) spice mixture.

 

Maque Choux, Take Two:

Onions (Vidalia and scallions), a jalapeno; half a poblano; the spiced beef; a couple of huge tomatoes and a spoonful of sundried tomatoes in olive oil; the corn and its milk; then a touch of water to smooth it out and get the starches to mix.This collage shows the mixture before and after the corn and tomatoes were added.

 

20190821_223307.jpg

 

My title for this is based on an article in the July-August 2019 issue of the Milk Street magazine. Sorry, but they seem to hide behind a paywall so I can't link to the article.

 

Paywall or no, tehcniques notwithstanding, we liked it.

 

20190821_223450.jpg

Edited by Smithy (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I can now report that cutting the kernels off a blanched ear of corn is child's play, but trying to do so with a blanched and then frozen ear of corn is a fool's errand. Maybe with an electric meat knife it could have been done, but I didn't try it. The ears I chose to freeze are now thawing in the refrigerator so I can collect the kernels. I'll report later on whether there's a textural difference.

 

On another note: for those of you who like the combination of chili and lime on corn, tajin classico seasoning is a pretty nice addition to the pantry. I found this during our travels last winter. First I tried a cute little sample bottle of it, and later bought a full-sized bottle. It adds a delightful kick to sweet buttered corn. I think it's essentially the flavor combination Kim Shook mentioned here (see her restaurant photo) and Katie Meadow here, although both include other ingredients such as cotijo. Tajin seems to be getting a broad distribution, so keep an eye out for it in your grocery stores.

 

20190824_071800.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I going to do a sweet corn tempura based on a dish I saw prepared on "Trails to Tsujiki" on NHK Broadcasting.  While most of the shows are focused on seafood, the often feature a fruit or vegetable used in Japanese cooking.  The sweet corn fascinated me.  They cut deep into a cab so the kernels kept in a long piece, then dipped in tempura batter and fried.  They served it simply with a tempura sauce of soy sauce, mirin and dashi and grated daikon.  I'm thinking of adding some ground nori to the tempura batter.  

 

I've also seen corn tempura on a stick, but I'm not sure how to master that.  Any thoughts on how to prep the corn for tempura?  I've also seen it done by making corn patties and dipping that in the tempura batter.

 

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On 8/24/2019 at 8:02 AM, Smithy said:

I can now report that cutting the kernels off a blanched ear of corn is child's play, but trying to do so with a blanched and then frozen ear of corn is a fool's errand. Maybe with an electric meat knife it could have been done, but I didn't try it. The ears I chose to freeze are now thawing in the refrigerator so I can collect the kernels. I'll report later on whether there's a textural difference.

 

 

The cut corn kernels are now spread out on cookie sheets and freezing. There is a definite textural difference between the kernels that came off the blanched ears and the kernels that came off the blanched-and-then-frozen ears. If there's a significant visual difference between the two batches that I can pick up with a camera, I'll post that later. Right now it can be felt more than seen.

 

The blanched, then frozen, then thawed ears yielded corn kernels that were mushy (soft) and lost a lot of their juices. Those kernels were difficult to cut off the ears (but impossible after the ears were frozen, as noted above) and a lot of the corn "meat" stayed on the ears. The cobs should have a lot to give corn stock. The kernels remind me of creamed corn.

 

The kernels that were cut off the cobs after the cobs were blanched kept much more of their structural integrity. I know from experience that they'll freeze well and make good provender for later. Note to @ElsieD: the reason we have taken to blanching the corn before freezing is that when I simply cut the corn kernels off the cobs and then froze the kernels, without blanching, the resulting product was tough even after being cooked later on.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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@Smithy  Dinner tonight included the tajin on the corn dish.  The dish has red onion, red peppers and corn and the tajin livened the whole thing up.  We both enjoyed it.

 

Good to know about the corn.  I am going to freeze some too and will blanche, cut and vacuum pack and freeze.  I probably won't do a whole lot but if we like it I will do more next year.  Corn is at or near the top of our favourite vegetable.  How long did you blanche it for?

20190825_183815.jpg

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1 minute ago, ElsieD said:

@Smithy  Dinner tonight included the tajin on the corn dish.  The dish has red onion, red peppers and corn and the tajin livened the whole thing up.  We both enjoyed it.

 

Good to know about the corn.  I am going to freeze some too and will blanche, cut and vacuum pack and freeze.  I probably won't do a whole lot but if we like it I will do more next year.  Corn is at or near the top of our favourite vegetable.  How long did you blanche it for?

20190825_183815.jpg

 

Glad you like the tajin! The dinner looks great.

 

I didn't time the blanching, but I think it was on the order of 2 minutes, maybe 3...just until the corn was barely cooked and had taken on a brighter color and firmer flesh. I had a big bowl of ice water waiting to stop the cooking as soon as I pulled the corn out of the boiling water.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On 8/18/2019 at 2:24 PM, Smithy said:

One of my weaknesses as a shopper is overenthusiasm. I buy a lot of whatever looks good -- especially seasonal produce -- and then scramble (or fail) to use it before it goes off. So it was that yesterday I had an overabundance of corn to use up, as well as tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, and lettuce.

 

Here's what I used, and how it turned out:

 

4 ears of corn: kernels cut off, and "milk" scraped into a bowl with the kernels

5 small Japanese eggplants, sliced into 1/2" coins and steamed

4 sausages (2 Polish, 2 jalapeno jack cheese bratwursts) sliced into 1/2" coins

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped

1/2 poblano pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped

~1/4c chicken jello

1 c cherry tomatoes on the way out, and the surviving 3/4 of a beefsteak tomato, chopped

a bit of water as a sauce booster

 

 

Steamed the eggplant coins as noted above, to soften them and prevent them from requiring too much oil.

Filmed a wok with oil (I used pecan, because I happen to have it, but any cooking oil would have done) and heated it, then sauteed the sausage coins until they were partially cooked.

Added the eggplant, and stirred all until browning began.

Added the peppers until soft.

Added the tomatoes, cooked until the cherry tomatoes began to pop.

Added the corn.

Added the chicken jello, and stirred until it melted. By that time it appeared that the beefsteak tomato juice and corn milk needed more assistance, so added a touch of water to develop more sauce.

Here is the finished melange:

 

20190817_211317.jpg

 

 

About half went into a bowl with about half the lettuce, with the idea of making a wilted-lettuce salad. 

 

20190818_135024.jpg

 

It looks a bit like a dog's dinner, but we both liked it. As usual, he wanted it slightly sweetened and added white wine worcestershire sauce; I wanted it slightly tarter and added a touch of red wine vinegar to brighten it. It was a good way to use those ingredients, including the corn. I think sweet corn is a wonderfully versatile filler for other dishes.

 

Today we finished the leftovers. It looks better before stirring!

 

20190818_135937.jpg

 

Now I have to go buy more 

 

Imagine this.  I haven't eGullet'ed in ages, and came looking for the smokin' brisket topic, and voila, a sweet corn topic.  Be still my beating heart (and note my ravatar).  This sure looks good, my friend.

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Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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3 minutes ago, snowangel said:

 

Imagine this.  I haven't eGullet'ed in ages, and came looking for the smokin' brisket topic, and voila, a sweet corn topic.  Be still my beating heart (and note my ravatar).  This sure looks good, my friend.

 

Good to see you here! Thanks for the compliments...and please come back more often!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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4 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Good to see you here! Thanks for the compliments...and please come back more often!

 

I hope to be around more often.  We've had a major life change, and cooking and food will hold more of a stage!

Meantime, I've been enjoying sweet corn almost daily, and trying to head north more often.  Mid summer was exceptionally chaotic.

 

Diana (who is home for a bit following her 977 days in Madagascar) and I have been eating a lot of corn off the coop, mixed with diced peppers (hot, whatever looks good at the farmers market), was of cilantro, lime and cojita cheese.  

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Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Tonight, for the first time, I used the CSO 210F steam function on my tomatoes as I wanted to take the skins off tomatoes I am using for risotto.  That lead me to wondering if that same steam function could be used to "blanch" corn.  Any thoughts?  (Note: I am posting this same question in the CSO topic.)

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I haven't noticed it in any stores in my neck of the woods, but got a couple of little sample pouches included with some corn tortillas I bought this past week.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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