Sweet, sweet, sweet corn

By Diane Ruyack

Corn on the cob has other names such as “pole corn”, “cornstick”, “sweet pole”, “butter-pop” or “long maize”. The ear is picked while the endosperm is in the “milk stage” so that the kernels are still tender. Ears of corn are steamed or boiled, usually without their green husks, or roasted with them.

Just before cooking, husk the corn, pull off the silky threads, and cut out any blemishes with a pointed knife. Drop the corn into a large pot filled with boiling salted water. Cover the pot and let the water return to a boil again, then turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. After about 5 minutes, remove enough ears for a first serving. You can keep the remaining corn warm in the water for another 10 minutes without its becoming tough. Serve with lots of butter and salt.

Another option is to microwave the corn. Again, you can shuck before of after cooking. If you shuck first, wrap the ears in damp paper towels, and put them in the microwave. Cook them on high until you smell the corn, which will be 6 to 9 minutes for a few ears or 12 to 14 minutes for a half-dozen ears. You should turn them around about halfway through. If you’re shucking after cooking, use a dish towel or oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat as you shuck.

You can also grill corn. And guess what? It can be in the husk or out of it. For a milder flavor, soak the corn in husks in cold water for at least a half hour. Put them on a hot grill, turn them every couple of minutes, and and cook until they’re evenly heated on all sides, which can take anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes. Again, the silks will come off more easily after cooking. If you husk first, you’ll get a much more intense grilled-corn flavor, and will want to grill the ears for 5 to 7 minutes, turning them occasionally to expose all surfaces to the heat.

Dill Butter

1/4 cup  Butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Italian Butter

1/4 cup  Butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

Parmesan Butter

1 stick of butter

½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to coat corn before grilling

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