In the Kitchen Featuring: Local Corn

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chili Butter_IMG_8881Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • Option 1 – Grilled in the Husk: Without removing the husks, peel back the layers to remove the silk. Pull the husks back in place around the ear of corn, then soak the ears in cool water for about 5 minutes. Pat dry and place on the grill over medium-high heat. Turn them a quarter turn every 3-5 minutes. When the entire husk has blackened, remove from grill. Let cool a bit before handling.
    • Impress your guests: Create a husk handle by carefully peeling back the husks, but do not remove them. Remove one husk leaf (maybe tear it in half lengthwise) and use it to tie together the husks that remain, making for a nice presentation. Serve immediately.
  • Option 2 – Grilled Corn on the Cob: Gently peel back the husks, leaving them attached at the bottom of the ear. Take off one piece of husk and peel off a small strip to use as a tie. Wrap it around the husks and tie a knot with the small strip. This makes a nice handle. Remove and discard the silk.
    • Preheat a grill to medium. Place the corn and grill, keeping the husk off the direct heat. Turn the corn a quarter every couple minutes, until charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Boiled Corn on the Cob

  • Use about 1 quart of water per ear of corn
  • Salt

Directions: Bring salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove corn using tongs and shake off the extra water. Serve with butter, salt and pepper.

Flavor-packed Butters for Corn on the Cob

Following are a few fancy butter spreads that add fantastic flavor to corn on the cob. Each ingredient combination is enough for about 4 ears of corn.

Herb’s Favorite

  • 3 TBL butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 TBL of fresh herbs, such as a combination of parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, sage and chervil

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

Honey Butter

  • 3 TBL butter, softened
  • 1 TBL Honey Hole Honey Co. honey or organic Agave nectar

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

Chili Butter – Or – Chili-Lime Butter

  • 2 TBL butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • For chili-lime butter, add grated peel of 1/2 of one lime. Add more if desired.

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

Lemon & Dill Butter

  • 3 TBL butter, softened
  • 1 tsp fresh dill weed or ½ tsp dried
  • Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of white pepper

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator

Fresh Corn Fritters with a Creamy Chive & Lime DippingFresh Corn Fritters with a Creamy Chive & Lime Dipping Sauce

Think of corn fritters as a great finger food for an outdoor grill party; these puppies pair beautifully with ice-cold beer. If you don’t want to serve them with the creamy chive & lime dip, you can serve them with warm maple syrup – the classic way to serve corn fritters. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Makes about 20-24 fritters.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • About 1/2 tsp. cumin (or cayenne, if you’re up for the heat)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Fage Total Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs (we suggest our Wattle & Comb pastured eggs)
  • 1 large ear of corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups vegetable or corn oil (enough for it to be at 1/2-inch deep in the frying pan)

Creamy Chive & Lime Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain Fage Total Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBL minced chives
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more, to taste) lime zest

Directions for Creamy Chive & Lime Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, fold in the chopped chives and lime zest into the yogurt. Serve immediately or chill.

Directions for Fritters: In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, cumin and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, yogurt and eggs. Gently stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Stir in the corn. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour oil into a small, heavy frying pan, to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over medium to medium-high heat until it’s hot enough that a small dollop of batter sizzles when added (about 350F). With a spring-lever miniature ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop up a ball of the batter and gently release it into the hot oil. Add three or four more balls of batter to the hot oil, but do not crowd the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low so that the fritters cook gently. When golden brown on the bottom and barely cooked around the top edge, after about 1 to 2 minutes, use a slotted spatula to turn the fritters and cook until golden on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Transfer the fritters to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. *See cook’s note. Continue to cook the remaining batter in small batches, adding more oil as needed to maintain the 1/2-inch depth.

*Cook’s note: You can keep finished fritters warm in a 200F oven while cooking in batches. Note that fritters are best served immediately.

To serve: Either dot the top of each fritter with a dollop of the yogurt-chive-lime mixture or serve it on the side for self-dolloping/dipping.

Grilled Corn, Chicken & Black Bean SaladGrilled Corn, Chicken & Black Bean Salad on a Bed of Spinach

Definitely a salad for summer! Grilling the chicken is a great way to add more flavor to this dish, plus, it keeps your kitchen cool in the summer heat. This is an easy recipe to serve to a crowd as it’s easily doubled, and keep in mind you can serve it sans the greens and chicken too. Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil (if you’re looking to add a little more heat to this dish, try Sigona’s red chili Harissa olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and cubed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias
  • 3 TBL chopped cilantro
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced lengthwise
  • 3 – 4 big handfuls of spinach or arugula
  • 2 oz. crumbled Feta or queso fresco
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • Black pepper

Directions: Preheat a grill to medium. Add the corn and grill until charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk together the EVOO, lime juice, chili powder and half the salt. Carefully slice the corn kernels from the cobs and transfer to the bowl. Add the beans, radishes, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro; toss well.

Divide the greens among 2-4 plates. Top with the corn mixture and lay strips of cooked chicken on top. Lastly, add on a few cubes avocado and a sprinkling of crumbled cheese. Season with black pepper, if desired.

Fresh Corn Sauté with Bell Peppers, Ginger & Fresh Cilantro

This makes a fantastic relish for grilled fish, such as halibut or salmon. It would also be nice with a pork tenderloin rubbed with Chinese five-spice powder. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBL unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 green onions, white and light green parts cut on a bias
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced (we suggest a red bell for good color)
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided (more to taste)
  • 3 large ears fresh corn, kernels sliced off
  • 2 TBL minced fresh ginger
  • 2 – 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • Scant 1 tsp. minced serrano chili
  • 2 TBL chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Black pepper

Directions: Over medium heat, melt 1 TBL of the butter with the olive oil in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add the green onions, bell pepper and 1/2 tsp. of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the green onions are soft and lightly browned, about 3 min.

Add the remaining TBL butter and the corn, ginger, garlic, serrano and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the corn is tender but still slightly toothy to the bite, about 3 to 4 min. (Note: the bottom of the pan may brown and that’s ok.)

Remove the pan from the heat, add all but about 1/2 TBL of the cilantro, most of the lime juice and black pepper to taste. Stir, let sit 2 min., and stir again, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Season to taste with more salt, pepper or lime. Serve warm, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro.

Smokey Corn & Monterey Jack QuesadilSmokey Corn & Monterey Jack Quesadillas with Sigona’s Guacamole

There’s no doubt quesadillas are something the whole family will like for lunch or dinner. I love how you can really throw anything in a quesadilla to make them as lite or as hearty as you wish. For example, you could add cubed chicken, shrimp or a flaked white fish to this recipe for more protein. Inspired by Fine Cooking. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (from half a medium ear)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (you can also use yellow squash or yellow crookneck)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 (7- to 8-inch) flour tortillas

Garnishes:

  • Lime wedges
  • Fage Total yogurt mixed with a few drops of Tapatio or other hot sauce
  • Sigona’s Guacamole (recipe follows)

Sigona’s Guacamole (easily doubled)

  • 2 large ripe avocados, removed from skin and coarsely chopped
  • 2 TBL finely diced white onion
  • 2 TBL cup finely diced red onion
  • 1-2 Serrano chilies (or jalapenos), finely chopped (seeds removed or left depending on how hot you like your guac.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 – 2 TBL fresh squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the Quesadillas: In a medium bowl, combine the corn, cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, zucchini, black beans, paprika and salt.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan and, working quickly, spread on the corn mixture. Top with the remaining tortilla and let cook 4-5 minutes or until bottom tortilla is crispy and a lightly browned. Using a large spatula, gently flip the quesadilla and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Let cool about 3 minutes before slicing into fourths. Serve with the yogurt + hot sauce mixture, lime wedges and guacamole.

Sigona’s Guacamole: Mix onions, serrano chilies, garlic and salt in a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the avocados and gently mash with a fork. Pour in the lime juice and stir to combine. Season with some black pepper to taste.

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