Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Shuck and Cook Corn

Dollinks: Im testing and cooking a couple of recipes in advance of a dinner party, so will blog the results later this week. Meanwhile, you may have read a couple of wacky cooking tips circulating on the Internet, and Im here to confirm that they actually work! The first two tips concern an easy way to shuck and an even easier way to cook corn on the cob. I was going to save this for corn season in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live, but then I realized that it may well be corn season where you live. First, the shucking! Tough job, huh? This method is excellent for small quantities of corn. Let this two-minute YouTube video show you how (I love Clean Ears Ken!): 

By the way, the fastest way to remove the kernels from a cob of corn is to use an electric knife. And if you hold the corn upright over a bundt or angel cake pan, the kernels will fall inside.

There are several ways to cook that corn - notably by boiling, steaming, or barbecuing it. In summer, barbecuing corn in its husk or in foil wrap with a little butter and seasoning, works very well. 
If you barbecue corn directly on the grill in its husk, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes if it’s more than a couple of days old. Freshly picked corn needs no soaking. Place the corn in its husk straight on a very hot grill. Cover to allow the corn to steam in its husk for 15-to-20 min. 

Turn occasionally, allowing the corn to adopt a smoky flavor as the husks develop grill marks. Remove from grill and cool slightly before grasping each cob with a silicone mitt as you husk and remove silks with your free hand. Serve with seasoning and butter; alternately, serve with mayonnaise, a squeeze of lime, and chipotle.

To barbecue corn without its husk, oil-spray and place, uncovered, on a medium-hot grill, turning the cobs as the kernels start to darken. Corn will be cooked through in 10-to-12 minutes. Serve as suggested above.

Now, cooking corn for a crowd. This method is referred to as cooler corn.” You’ll find it efficient and effective. Take a standard, large cooler - not the cheap Styrofoam type or the expensive electric type - and give the innards a good wipe. Dump in as many ears of shucked corn as you need, pouring enough boiling water over the corn to cover it all. Then close the lid. Come back 30 minutes later, and your corn will be perfectly cooked. As long as the cooler’s lid remains shut, corn cooked this way will remain hot for a couple of hours. 

Cooler Corn (Internet photo; source unknown)

And now I must return to my own cooking! I’m making a tried-and-true main course and an old-fashioned cake I hope our guests will enjoy! I’d tell you what they are, but Shhhh! I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

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