Corn, sweet corn: No summer is complete without it.
Delicious, versatile and easy to work with, corn — on or off the cob — is essential summertime fare. As we approach the midpoint of Southern California’s 6-month-long (May through October) corn season, here are some recipes to add to your repertoire.
Fresh, sweet corn on the cob is delicious straight from the pot, salted and, if you like, buttered. (Fill a pot with water, add a few shucked ears of corn and bring it to a boil. When the water boils the corn is done.) For a little more flavor, grill the corn and serve it with a tequila-lime compound butter. Or go all out with elote — Mexican street-food style corn on a stick, coated with cotija cheese and chili salt.
Off the cob, corn makes for wonderful side dishes such as an avocado corn relish to complement tacos and grilled meats, and braised corn with chanterelles, where the quick braising enhances the flavor of both ingredients. You can pair corn with zucchini in calabacitas or get a little more sophisticated with budin de elote, a rich, creamy corn and zucchini pudding.
Buffalo corn with bacon and eggs is a great breakfast fix — and perfect for any other quick, casual meal. Come lunchtime, corn kernels mixed with mozzarella and fontina cheeses give Korean corn grilled cheese a crunchy, toothsome dimension. The kernels serve a similar function in a charred okra and corn salad with spicy sausage vinaigrette.
Summer succotash and creamed corn are wonderful accompaniments to crisp-skinned salmon — all three dishes come together in about 30 minutes. Halibut steamed in corn husks is another quick, easy meal; the husks impart intense grassy, corn flavor to the delicate fish and leave it impossibly juicy.
Any part of a meal, any time of day, any way you prepare it, corn will add texture, color and the taste of summer to your spread.
Corn and chanterelles are two great seasonal highs that combined will always be transcendent, but braise them in just a whisper of nut oil and they are transformed.
Fresh corn kernels are the basis for these savory Indonesian corn cakes. The sweetness of the corn and cream balance the brininess of the shrimp and the crunch of the vegetables.
YieldsMakes 24 cakes
In Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger's relish, day-fresh sweet corn brings a bright note, contrasting the richness of the oil, avocado, vinegar and pepper.
This simple corn pudding is sublimely silky.
Time1 hour 10 minutes
YieldsServes 8 to 10
Crisp, spicy sausage acts as second fiddle to a grab-bag of peak-summer vegetables, including okra, corn and Jimmy Nardello peppers.
YieldsServes 2 to 4
Korean corn cheese is outlandishly wonderful. The beauty of this dish is in tasting the sweet corn mixed with the super stretchy cheese.
Chowder made with fresh, sweet corn is a revelation. A light hand with the cream rewards you with flavors that are vibrant and uniquely summery.
The crisp salmon skin is exquisite, as is the sweet, soft flesh. Fava beans replace lima beans in the succotash and creamed corn surrounds it on the plate.
Grilled Mexican corn, or elotes, is comfy Mexican food everyone loves.
Calabacitas (squash) is a homey dish of stewed zucchini, corn and tomatoes.
YieldsServes 6 to 8
The husks infuse the mild fish with that ineffable corn flavor and keep it almost impossibly juicy. Fresh corn, jalapeños, cilantro and butter are tucked into the husks.
This Buffalo corn with bacon and eggs dish is an easy, spicy breakfast or brunch take on classic hot wings, and it only takes 20 minutes to prepare.
Lime and a little tequila in the compound butter make the corn flavor really pop. A little minced jalapeño gives it a bit of heat and a sprinkle of cilantro adds color.