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David Ross

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

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Today was what ended up as a "test" of the sweet corn tempura.  I'll start with the failure.  Instead of going with the tempura recipe I normally use, (from Dining with the Chef on NHK Broadcasting, Tokyo), I went with a "hyrbrid" tempura batter and it turned out my like cakey fritters.  But tommorrow I'll adjust that and it should go good.  I put the corn on the cob in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes then cut the kernels off.  I made corn stock with the cobs and I'm using that in another sweet corn dish later this week.

 

I am pretty good at frying tempura, and the sauce and grating daikon is basic stuff so if I just go back to the right tempura batter I think it will work better.  In the end, a dinner of corn fritters isn't all that bad.

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This may be dupe but the corn I always adored was from my local Japanese stand (now gone) as noted in my old blog 2011 blog  They leased space adjacent to local airport  Hard me for now to eat other corn. Margaret has a good conversation with Alexandra Stafford here  https://awaytogarden.com/get-it-while-it-lasts-corn-tomato-and-zucchini-recipes-with-alexandra-stafford/post-52659-0-82536400-1304364945.jpg

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Well after thinking about the corn tempura failure last night I think I realized what happened.  Ugh.  Why, I don't know, but a month back I decided that I'd probably not use that last few cups of bread flour in the bin so I added it into the all-purpose flour bin.  A sort of confused flour bin if you will.  I'm thinking that is what happened to the tempura last night which turned more into a soft fritter pancake doughy sort of mess.  Then of course this morning I realized I had Japanese tempura flour in the cupboard the whole time.  So the better attempt this afternoon and a tutorial video from Dining with the Chef on NHK.

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18 hours ago, David Ross said:

Well after thinking about the corn tempura failure last night I think I realized what happened.  Ugh.  Why, I don't know, but a month back I decided that I'd probably not use that last few cups of bread flour in the bin so I added it into the all-purpose flour bin.  A sort of confused flour bin if you will.  I'm thinking that is what happened to the tempura last night which turned more into a soft fritter pancake doughy sort of mess.  Then of course this morning I realized I had Japanese tempura flour in the cupboard the whole time.  So the better attempt this afternoon and a tutorial video from Dining with the Chef on NHK.

Attempt number two at corn tempura was better but still not where I want it.  I think it's two issues.  Since corn is small little kernels that have moisture, it seems to impact how crispy and delicate the tempura is.  The Japanese tempura recipe I used is flour, one egg yolk and ice water.  If you do one green bean tempura that works fine, but a cluster of corn not as well.  I think the moisture in the corn kernels and the egg mixed with the flour is what is creating a sort of fried corn pancake.  It's getting better, but today is a third try.

 

I'm going to make a sweet corn "kakiage" which is a style of Japanese vegetable fritter.  I've seen it made with carrot, onion and potato but I'll try it with sweet corn.  It's vegetables that are julienned then dusted with flour.  Then they pour in a bit of soda water and shape the mix into a round and put it on a spatula and slide it into the oil.  That may do the trick but I'll see.

 

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This is a corn cake I made this past Spring using frozen sweet corn.  It was a dish I did for eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado-Finding New Popularity in the Kitchen.  I think these corn cakes would be much better with fresh sweet corn and they work with so many other ingredients. This is the skillet corn cakes with a pickled avocado and watermelon salsa.

Corn Cakes.JPG

Skillet Corn Cakes-makes about 16 3” cakes

1 cup corn kernels, (frozen corn works well, thaw before using)

½ cup melted butter

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup whole milk

1 large egg

¾ cup Masa flour

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

2-3 tbsp. oil for frying

 

Combine the corn, melted butter, cream, milk and egg in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the Masa flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.  Add the dry ingredients into the corn mixture and stir to combine and create a smooth pancake like batter.  Add additional milk if the batter is too thick.

 

Heat a skillet or pancake griddle over medium heat.  Drizzle some of the oil into the pan and add 2-3 large spoons of the corn cake batter to make small dollar size pancakes.  Fry the corn cakes until bubbles appear, 1-2 minutes and then turn over and fry the other side, about 1-2 minutes.  Keep the corn cakes warm on a plate tented with foil while you finish frying.

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/158091-eg-cook-off-81-the-avocado-finding-new-popularity-in-the-kitchen/?do=findComment&comment=2193863

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My stepdaughter came up with an interesting and delicious treatment for sweet corn: smoking it. 

1. Start with corn as it comes off the stalk. No need to peel, detassel, desilk, or otherwise mess with it.

2. Submerge the corn, tassels down, in a large pot of heavily-salted cool water. Leave it for 4 hours. (I don't know whether the orientation of the stalks really matters, but they must be fully submerged.)

3. Smoke the corn with the wood of your choice at 250F for 4 hours.

4. Remove it, and enjoy.

 

The resulting corn has a nice wood smokiness to it, and is quite tender. Better still, the husks and silk slip off together with no effort. We have processed a lot of corn this way in the last few days, and been impressed.  Some we've cut off the cob and eaten without further ado. Those who like corn on the cob have tried and liked it that way.. We've stripped yet more off the cob, bagged and frozen it for later. I hope to getting around to doing something showy with it in this topic later, but I may simply add its sweet smokiness to a casserole (excuse me, hotdish) or three.

 

20190902_172902.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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17 hours ago, Smithy said:

My stepdaughter came up with an interesting and delicious treatment for sweet corn: smoking it. 

1. Start with corn as it comes off the stalk. No need to peel, detassel, desilk, or otherwise mess with it.

2. Submerge the corn, tassels down, in a large pot of heavily-salted cool water. Leave it for 4 hours. (I don't know whether the orientation of the stalks really matters, but they must be fully submerged.)

3. Smoke the corn with the wood of your choice at 250F for 4 hours.

4. Remove it, and enjoy.

 

The resulting corn has a nice wood smokiness to it, and is quite tender. Better still, the husks and silk slip off together with no effort. We have processed a lot of corn this way in the last few days, and been impressed.  Some we've cut off the cob and eaten without further ado. Those who like corn on the cob have tried and liked it that way.. We've stripped yet more off the cob, bagged and frozen it for later. I hope to getting around to doing something showy with it in this topic later, but I may simply add its sweet smokiness to a casserole (excuse me, hotdish) or three.

 

20190902_172902.jpg

Thanks I'm going to try that this weekend.

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I think I finally got the Japanese style corn dish where I want it.  I'll be posting the recipe tomorrow, but this is one of the draft photos.  The batter ended up being cake flour and soda water.  I blanched whole ears of corn for about 1 minute then cut the kernels off the cob.  Saved the cobs to make corn stock for another sweet corn dish.  It was tricky to get the corn into the hot oil, so I used a spoon to sort of put some corn/batter on a spatula and slid that into the oil.  It fries in about 3 minutes.  Because I only blanched the corn for a minute, then fried in the batter for maybe 3, the corn kernels stayed firm, and packed full of sweet flavor.  The sides are a tempura dipping sauce I made, grated daikon and some pickled cucumber I buy at a local Korean store.  Those things are vivid green!

IMG_0172.JPG

 

 

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That looks lovely, @David Ross. I look forward to seeing the recipe, and trying it out.

 

And now...from the ethereal to the elemental....I just rediscovered Vivian Howard's recipe (Deep Run Roots, p.262) for Smoked Corn Mayo. Among other uses, it is an element of her Elbow-Lick Tomato Sandwich. Guess I've found another use for that smoked corn! 

 

Instead of building a mayonnaise around the corn as she suggests I added it to a chicken salad with mayonnaise, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, a touch of salt. It still needs something: celery was the plan, but I didn't have any. A touch more acid might have helped: pickle juice, perhaps. Fresh parsley for color, perhaps? I can play with it more tomorrow. 

 

20190906_003441.jpg

 

This chicken / smoked corn salad mixture went onto a sandwich with a slice of ripe red tomato, a generous portion of lettuce, and a swipe of straight mayonnnaise on the bread to hold it all together. It wasn't quite Vivian Howard's Elbow-Lick Tomato Sandwich, but it made a satisfying dinner!

 

20190906_003316.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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Cheek piercings are not my thing.  Necessity they say is the mother of invention, and I have developed a method for eating corn.  Rather than sticking one corn prong through the big end and one corn prong through my cheek, I simply stick one corn prong through the big end, permitting the little end to butter my off hand.

 

This leaves one unbuttered hand free for the wineglass.  Somehow I am minded of microprocessor architectures.  But until the patent is approved, feel free to use my invention; with proper accreditation, of course.

 

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On 9/5/2019 at 7:20 PM, David Ross said:

I think I finally got the Japanese style corn dish where I want it.  I'll be posting the recipe tomorrow, but this is one of the draft photos.  The batter ended up being cake flour and soda water.  I blanched whole ears of corn for about 1 minute then cut the kernels off the cob.  Saved the cobs to make corn stock for another sweet corn dish.  It was tricky to get the corn into the hot oil, so I used a spoon to sort of put some corn/batter on a spatula and slid that into the oil.  It fries in about 3 minutes.  Because I only blanched the corn for a minute, then fried in the batter for maybe 3, the corn kernels stayed firm, and packed full of sweet flavor.  The sides are a tempura dipping sauce I made, grated daikon and some pickled cucumber I buy at a local Korean store.  Those things are vivid green!

IMG_0172.JPG

 

 

 

 

Excellent!   Someone else who saves corn cobs for corn stock.   But knowing this group I suspect it’s common


Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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24 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

Excellent!   Someone else who saves corn cobs for corn stock.   But knowing this group I suspect it common

 

Oh when the old ones came back from the desert after 7 months i'd forgotten I had some in the freezer - screams of horror- immediately made a stock and used. Clueless people ;)

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20 hours ago, scubadoo97 said:

 

 

Excellent!   Someone else who saves corn cobs for corn stock.   But knowing this group I suspect it common

This coming week I'm going to use some of the corn stock for cooking wild rice and another use will be corn stock for making a corn puree.

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It took a number of tries but I think I got the sweet corn just right.  The original thought was to do a sweet corn tempura but after three attempts that idea didn't work.  Tempura is normally one piece, like a prawn, bean, spear of asparagus or slice of sweet potato.  I found that little kernels of corn were hard to hold together in a tempura batter.  The next thing I discovered was the water in each kernel seemed to affect the crispiness of the finished tempura.  But the biggest problem was the batter.  I began with a trusted source, "Dining With The Chef" on NHK broadcasting Tokyo.  The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, (although I think the Japanese use a flour milled for making tempura), one egg yolk and ice water.  The batter ended up to much like a pancake type of fried corn cake, not light, airy and crispy like we think of tempura.  Then I tried a recipe with flour, both baking soda and baking powder, a whole egg and ice water.  It was actually more cakey than the first batter so I figured it was time to lose the egg.  I tried another recipe with boxed tempura flour and ice water, but it didn't hold the corn kernels together.  Finally, I remembered a show I had seen on YouTube for "Kakiage" which is a Japanese vegetable pancake fried like tempura. 

 

The recipes I found use julienned onion, carrot and potato, so I had to work on how I could do it with sweet corn. I settled on the simplest of batters, cake flour and soda water.  Cake flour is fine and light, giving cakes their light volume.  The soda is what creates the crispy texture.  To start, I removed the husks and silk from ears of corn and blanched them in boiling water for 1 minute.  I wanted to start the cooking process but still keep the kernels crisp.  Then cut the kernels off the cob.  (I saved the cobs to make corn stock, that I'll use later this week).

 

The finished corn kakiage was nothing like I have tasted before.  Light, crispy and the batter wasn't at all "cakey."  The sweet corn stayed crisp, but it also has a slightly toasted flavor almost like popcorn.  Definately will sit aside my traditional corn on the cob recipes.

 

IMG_0113.JPG

 

Next, the batter.  Cake flour and ice cold soda water.

IMG_0158.JPGIMG_0166.JPG

 

Put some of the corn kernels in the batter, then using a spoon, scoop the corn onto a spatula.  I know, not an easy technique but it works.

IMG_0170.JPG

 

I've never grated daikon for a garnish before and I don't know why.  It adds a peppery flavor to the sweet corn kakiage.  Just grate some daikon and garnish with sesame seeds or in this case I used chives from the garden.  The "tentsuyu" is a traditional dipping sauce for tempura.  This time I used dry instant dashi combined with boiling water.  Usually I make my own dashi stock and have enough for a dipping sauce, miso soup and other sauces.  

 

Sweet Corn Kakiage with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce-

2 ears sweet corn, husked, silk removed

1 cup cake flour

1/2-3/4 cup club soda

Nanami Togarashi Japanese Flour

1-2 tbsp. grated daikon radish

snipped chives for garnish

Korean cucumber pickles

 

1 cup dashi stock

1/4 cup mirin

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

 

Pour the dashi stock, mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Turn the heat off and let the sauce cool to room temperature.  I make the sauce ahead of time then keep it covered in the fridge.  Some people like to serve it warmed or room temperature, I like it cold.

 

Heat a large pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch the ears of corn for 1 minute.  Drain the corn cobs and let cool.  Cut the kernels off the cobs.  Cut the cobs in quarters and reserve to make corn stock.

 

Heat oil, (I use canola oil), in a large pot to 365.  Put the cake flour in a bowl and whisk in enough club soda to make a thin batter.  Put a large spoonful of the corn kernels in the batter, then using a spatula, spoon the corn on top of a spatula.  Gently push the corn off the spatula into the hot oil.  Fry the sweet corn kakiage for 3-4 minutes until crispy and the kakiage just starts to brown.  

IMG_0182.JPG

 

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The other night at a local restaurant, I enjoyed an appetizer called Crispy Split Corn with Bacon Aioli, Ground Chili and Pecorino.  A few days prior, I'd had the delicious but exceedingly messy experience of eating an ear of Mexican Street Corn at a taco joint. This appetizer was still finger food but a much tidier way of serving something very similar.  

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but the corn was cut right through the cob into small wedges about 3 kernels wide and probably about 1/2 to 1/3 of an ear long.  There was still a bit of cob holding each wedge together.  It was definitely seasoned with the chili and pecorino after it was cut up.  

I'll give this a try one of these days and report back.

 

 

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Made my summertime standby today, corn, avocado, black bean salad. 4 ears of corn, grilled with husks (I pulled half of the husk off so there was a thinner layer). I like the kernels to stay tender for the salad. 3 Roma tomatoes, diced. 2 mini avocados, diced. Small can (5-6 oz?) black beans, rinsed. One lime, juiced. Salt, pepper, aleppo pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro, couple of shakes chipotle hot sauce, tbs of olive oil. I pretty much just add seasonings and mix/taste/adjust until I like it.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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49 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

The other night at a local restaurant, I enjoyed an appetizer called Crispy Split Corn with Bacon Aioli, Ground Chili and Pecorino.  A few days prior, I'd had the delicious but exceedingly messy experience of eating an ear of Mexican Street Corn at a taco joint. This appetizer was still finger food but a much tidier way of serving something very similar.  

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but the corn was cut right through the cob into small wedges about 3 kernels wide and probably about 1/2 to 1/3 of an ear long.  There was still a bit of cob holding each wedge together.  It was definitely seasoned with the chili and pecorino after it was cut up.  

I'll give this a try one of these days and report back.

 

 

 

That corn looks really good.  Till I think about cutting an ear of corn in half lengthwise.

 

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15 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

That corn looks really good.  Till I think about cutting an ear of corn in half lengthwise.

 

 

Without injury please ;)

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19 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

That corn looks really good.  Till I think about cutting an ear of corn in half lengthwise.

 

 

Upfront CYA (CMA?) announcement:  I am NOT recommending that anyone else try this, especially @JoNorvelleWalker.

That said, it was relatively easy to cut the corn to the approximate sizes we got at the restaurant.  I didn't feel unsafe and no injury resulted. 

 

A cooked, even par-cooked, cob is ever so much easier to cut than a raw one so I microwaved an ear of corn, in the husk for a couple of minutes, a bit less than I'd use if I was going to eat it directly, then shucked it. The kernels were still opaque in some areas, just becoming translucent in others.  I don't have a smoker but when I made the Smoked Corn Mayo from Vivian Howard's Deep Run Roots, I smoked it on the stovetop and I should probably consider that as a first step instead of the microwave.  

On to the chopping....

I cut off and discarded a bit of the pointy end and cut the rest of the cob in half crosswise, into two cob-lets ~ 3.5 inches long.

I stood the cob-lets on end and sliced downwards, cutting them in half lengthwise.  They stood up very stably and this was easy to do with all fingers well clear of the knife blade.

I placed each half cob-let flat on the board, with its cut side down and sliced each in half again, lengthwise so each cob-let was essentially quartered, yielding 8 cob segments from one ear.  Easy peasy.  

IMG_1307.thumb.jpg.d2e878b772310af43432ebe2007463b1.jpg

Now, I have no idea how they were cooked.  I didn't actually order them and only tasted them towards the end of the meal, not when they were freshly served, which might have helped me figure it out. 

Since the dish is titled "crispy split corn," deep frying is a possibility but rather unlikely to happen.  

I'll try some CSO methods but should pause and whip up some of that bacon aioli first... 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Apologies in advance for sounding peckish, but how do you eat these?    They look like a clothing disaster waiting at table.    

I am reminded of the soup Bradley Ogden served at his Lark Creek Inn.    Touted as a casual restaurant, but plating and pricing suggested otherwise.   His soup contained 2" long cuts of corn-on-the-cob.    Now, how do you eat that?    I think he may have had a tie in with a local dry cleaner.

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17 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Apologies in advance for sounding peckish, but how do you eat these?    They look like a clothing disaster waiting at table.    

I am reminded of the soup Bradley Ogden served at his Lark Creek Inn.    Touted as a casual restaurant, but plating and pricing suggested otherwise.   His soup contained 2" long cuts of corn-on-the-cob.    Now, how do you eat that?    I think he may have had a tie in with a local dry cleaner.

 

I suppose you can eat them any way you like, or not at all if you have tidiness concerns. They are certainly a finger food and while the chef has a Michelin star, this restaurant is very casual. Cloth napkins but no tablecloths.  We sat outside with a view of what's essentially a Target parking lot.  I picked up a strip, dipped it into the aioli, used my knife to spread the aioli more or less evenly across the corn and ate it as if it was a tiny ear of corn.  Some of my friends spooned some of the aioli on to their plates and dipped each bite.  I got a little of the ground chili on my fingers but not all that much and since it's only a few rows of kernels, you don't get stuff all over your face like eating an ear of Mexican street corn. 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Here is a fun little tidbit to share...

 

My family has (what others always regard with a puzzled expression) a method of eating corn off the cob which I have adopted...

 

So you eat the first 'row' (consider each kernel and its neighbours to the left and right, a row - for the purposes of this description....) as 'normal'

 

This is where things take a turn for the 'odd' - after that, you take your thumb and basically run it below the next line of corn, slightly separating them from their neighbours to the South, and then with your bottom row of teeth, you basically nudge along that row and essentially pulling the entire kernel from the cob.

 

The end result is a cob that is nearly spotless (minus the first row which suffered the preparatory pangs).  Contest in my family was always who's cob was cleanest.  LoL.

 

Does anyone else do this?!?!

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24 minutes ago, TicTac said:

Here is a fun little tidbit to share...

 

My family has (what others always regard with a puzzled expression) a method of eating corn off the cob which I have adopted...

 

So you eat the first 'row' (consider each kernel and its neighbours to the left and right, a row - for the purposes of this description....) as 'normal'

 

This is where things take a turn for the 'odd' - after that, you take your thumb and basically run it below the next line of corn, slightly separating them from their neighbours to the South, and then with your bottom row of teeth, you basically nudge along that row and essentially pulling the entire kernel from the cob.

 

The end result is a cob that is nearly spotless (minus the first row which suffered the preparatory pangs).  Contest in my family was always who's cob was cleanest.  LoL.

 

Does anyone else do this?!?!

 

I used to; although my method didn't use a thumb.

 

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1 hour ago, TicTac said:

Here is a fun little tidbit to share...

 

My family has (what others always regard with a puzzled expression) a method of eating corn off the cob which I have adopted...

 

So you eat the first 'row' (consider each kernel and its neighbours to the left and right, a row - for the purposes of this description....) as 'normal'

 

This is where things take a turn for the 'odd' - after that, you take your thumb and basically run it below the next line of corn, slightly separating them from their neighbours to the South, and then with your bottom row of teeth, you basically nudge along that row and essentially pulling the entire kernel from the cob.

 

The end result is a cob that is nearly spotless (minus the first row which suffered the preparatory pangs).  Contest in my family was always who's cob was cleanest.  LoL.

 

Does anyone else do this?!?!

 

Rules are for breaking ;)

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