When we go out to eat at BBQ restaurants, I am always tempted to order whatever side dish they have that involves corn. I am, however, almost always disappointed because the corn is so tough. I once ordered a jalapeno creamed corn that was fantastic in flavor but still lacking in quality. I went home and searched for recipes, found one that sounded similar (the cumin was new) and made a few changes to the ratios of the ingredients.
types of sweet corn
I have made my affinity/obsession with NW Iowa grown sweet corn very clear. This, and all recipes that call for corn, are ridiculously better if you have access to freshly picked corn on the cob. At other times of the year, the next best option is this same corn that was frozen for a purpose such a time as this. It is pretty easy to find if you happen to be related to a large number of people who have stashes in their freezers year-round (thanks, Mom!). My personal stash was depleted so I used my third choice: frozen corn from the store. Look for “super-sweet”, “shoe-peg”, “white” and/or “petite” varieties for the most tender types and best results.
If you have access to a dozen fresh ears, follow these simple steps to prepare:
- Remove husk and silks from ears.
- Wash gently with cold water.
- Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Gently drop ears into boiling water (may have to start with half of the ears and repeat with the others depending on the size of the stock pot).
- Boil for 5-6 minutes and remove from water to a plate or bowl.
- Repeat with remaining ears if necessary.
- Allow corn to cool for a few minutes.
- Cut kernels off of the cob by standing the ear upright and cut down the ear, near the cob, rotating the ear between cuts until clean.
sweet – smoky – spicy
This recipe has the perfect balance of flavors. The corn is sweet, the cumin is smoky and the jalapeños provide the spice. The beauty of this recipe is finding the balance that is perfect for you. Want to tame the spice? Take out all the jalapeño seeds and membranes and/or reduce how much you add. Not fond of cumin? Try paprika or a mild chili powder. Too sweet? I’m not sure I can help you. It is sweet corn after all. Just kidding … try substituting black-eyed peas or black beans for some of the corn. Bacon, ham, or andouille sausage would be excellent protein additions to this dish as well. Corn, zucchini and red peppers pair really well together. Find your balance and enjoy!
Add some chicken or pulled pork to the leftovers and spread it between two tortillas for a quick quesadilla.
Stir it into a frittata.
Or, do what I do, and make it for your nephews … then there are no leftovers!