16 August 2010
Easy does it
For the sake of my sanity, I need to work harder at my goal of simplicity. I've been just a bit overloaded lately, and I wasn't going to let a potluck side dish derail my weekend.
Corn on the cob would have to do. I love corn on the cob, and frankly, unless you're a 13-year-old with braces sitting at the lunch table with your boyfriend, I can't think of a reason anyone would dislike it.
I remember watching my Grandma Peach boil corn picked from her garden, and if you've ever had really fresh corn, you know that it is something to wait 10 months of the year for.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a city with a farmer's market, there's no better place to buy fresh corn. Look for ears with their husks still tightly wrapped with plump kernels that squirt a bit of juice when pierced. Shuck and cook the corn while the husks look lively and green.
I often slice my corn into halves or thirds, so you can quickly feed a good-size crowd with a dozen ears of corn. This recipe is certainly a quick, easy method, but I also like grilling corn on the cob or slicing the corn off the cob and sauteing in a hot pan with olive oil and salt.
Corn on the Cob with Chili-Spiced Butter
9 to 12 ears of corn, shucked and cut into thirds
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt, plus more to season to taste
1/2 cup butter, melted
Cracked black pepper
Cilantro for garnish
Fill a large pot with water about three-quarters full. Add the sugar and one tablespoon of salt to the water. Bring to a boil. Add corn to pot and continue to boil for about four minutes. Remove corn from water and place in a strainer over the sink. Work in batches if your pot isn't large enough to hold all of the corn.
While the corn drains and begins to cool, combine the butter and spices in a very large bowl. Start with a good handful of chili powder, adding more based on the flavor you'd like. Then add a dash each of coriander and cumin and several turns on your mill of black pepper. Season with salt to taste. With a fork or whisk, combine the butter and spices. Toss the corn in the butter mixture, using your hands to turn the corn to make sure each piece gets evenly coated. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately or refrigerate for service later at room temperature. Allow to stand on the counter for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Note: Recipe can be scaled up or down easily.