Ten Ways to Get Your Sweet Corn Groove On

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms.

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms.

From the Department of Eating in the Moment:  Make the most of that sweet corn while it lasts! As many of you know, Mother Nature is a busy lady and has no time for dawdling. There's winter squash and turnips on the way, after all.  Below, some of our favorite ways to savor this year's sweet corn harvest, which is about sweet as it gets. 

Steam It, Husks On: Try it on the grill or in the microwave

Steam It, Husks Off: Via a stovetop steam basket (You'll probably need to cut the cob into thirds so that it fits neatly in the basket)

Roast It, Husks On:  In a 400-degree oven or tucked among the waning charcoal embers in a grill. You might want to soak the corn in water for a short spell to keep it from drying out (and from husks burning). 

Roast It, Husks Off: This for corn lovers who are looking for more of a smoky, charred flavor, and a toothier texture.  You can do this directly on the grate of a grill or on the rack of a 400-degree oven. 

Boil It, Husks Off: This is how many of us grew up eating corn. A few tips: Generously salt the water, which will season the corn and perhaps eliminate the need for salting at the table. Bring water up to a boil, add the corn, boil for just 4 minutes. 

Cut It Off the Cob: Shuck corn and remove all the silk. Place one cob at a time in a bowl, upright and with a sharp knife, remove the kernels, from top to bottom.

Blanch and freeze the kernels for later when you've got a hankering in the dead of winter: Take those kernels and blanch them (quick parboil) for about 60 seconds. Rinse under cold water and drain, portion, and put in freezer-safe zip-style bags. 

Stir-fry the kernels with other quick-cooking vegetables, like zucchini and peppers.

Incorporate corn kernels into salads (great with cherry tomatoes!) or grains -- rice, bulgur, quinoa, farro, barley...

Make Corn Stock: Naked corn cobs are packed with flavor and make great stock, in place of vegetable stock. It's as easy as this: Place a minimum of 6 corn cobs (free of kernels) in a deep pot and add enough water to cover. Add a handful of black peppercorns, a few sprigs of fresh parsley and/or thyme, and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about an hour. Strain, cool and portion into freezer-safe containers. Use for soups, stews, risotto, or anytime you need a vegetable stock.