Monday, August 11, 2008
Corn...On or Off the Cob
The old adage the Fourth of July corn is knee high is true if the plains States are your source for corn. Now, corn starts showing up in early summer in the warmer states, and continues its kernel popping run into early fall. Though it is the height of summer when corn peaks.
Don’t pull back the husks to chose your corn -- you need to molest the corn caressing it up and down the husk covered cob…Is it full with a good girth? Are the tassels sticking out of the top slightly damp, and golden? These are the indicators of a fully developed corn.
Now, there three distinctive kinds of corn to find in the market these days: yellow, white and bi-colored. The yellow is the starchiest and the one that always needs cooking. This is the one you should use in creamed corn, or chowders for its starchy quality gives the finished dish a richness without using copious quantities of cream. The white and bi-color are far sweet, and are easily eaten raw. Shaved off the cob, tossed with some cherry tomatoes, scallions, lime juice and basil and you have a fabulous salad. I will admit to simply stripping the husks and silk from the cob and eating a couple raw for dinner.
Definitely shave as fresh as you can get corn from the cob, and store it in a freezer bag….You will your own frozen corn all winter.
Corn Ice Cream – yields approx. 3 quarts
5 ears white corn
6 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Remove the kernel from their cobs. Puree the corn kernels to liquefy – it should yield approximately 3 cups.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together to a pale yellow.
In a 4 quart sauce-pan heat the milk and cream to just the scold – do not let it boil. Then slowly add some the hot milk into the eggs to temper them. Add the egg mixture and pureed corn into the remaining milk, and stir, constantly, over a medium-low heat to slightly thicken.
Pour the milk mixture through a fine sieve into a container, and chill completely. Stir in the vanilla, and freeze according to your manufacture’s instructions.