Friday, July 23, 2010

Todd's Sweet Corn Recipe

Todd's sweet corn: In buying sweet corn, presume one full ear per child and one full ear per city adult at the table, plus one ear as seconds per 4 adults. Allocate 3-4 ears per farming adult, growing teenager, or known gourmand.

Peel back the husk at least a third of the length of the ear to see the kernels. You are looking for full, rounded kernels that are even, and to be sure that each ear has fully propagated with kernels. Select ears that suit your temperament, bearing in mind that small kernels are sweeter, and large kernels are starchier. In the beginning of the season, try for the largest ears you can find; conversely, at the end of the season, look for smaller ears.

After you buy the freshest sweet corn you can find, cook as soon as possible, ideally never letting corn reach room temperature naturally. Husk and shuck right before cooking to prevent kernels from drying. As you husk, a natural twisting of the husks will also pull away most of the silks without allowing them direct contact to your hands. I prefer to remove as many silks as possible, but some will also be freed during the cooking; therefore, do not spend more than 5 minutes total on the entire batch, regardless of number of ears involved. Trim tops and bottoms of ears to be flat (to insert corn holders at the table after cooking) and snap in half.

If you find anything strange on the ears, cut it off and throw away, preserving as much corn as possible. Guests should never see you husk the corn, in case of various natural surprises which will clean up just fine, and besides, you're going to boil the heck out of it. (fungi and live caterpillar-like corn worms are the two most likely unwelcome revelations - most grocery stores will have culled these suspect ears, but you never know).

In the largest pot you own, bring to boil lots of pepper, 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, a few random baby carrots, an entire clove of garlic broken up , splash of oil (your choice) to keep from boiling over, onion powder, a few cashews, vague hint of salt, moderate chili powder and paprika, and a few small potatoes if you have them. Add corn at rolling boil. Boil at rolling boil for a while.

Remove ears just prior to serving, and put corn holders or large nails in each end of the corn half-ears. Present guests with corn stacked on serving platter, which will maintain heat as best as possible. Salt and pepper shakers should be plentiful on the table, along with multiple butter dishes or corn dishes (plastic or ceramic dishes designed specifically for the application of butter to corn).

It is rude to salt or pepper a cob directly on a butter dish, but ruder still to presume malicious intent of the perpetrator. Second/third/fourth helpings should be divided evenly, as best as possible.

Corn cobs should be tossed over the fence for the cows to eat.


Blogger Chris said...

You're making me hungry...

7:37 AM  
Blogger Todd D. said...

That's the general idea!

8:52 AM  

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