Recipe: Confetti corn is an easy summer side
Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com
There's a bright golden haze on the meadow
The corn is as high as an elephant's eye
And it looks like it's climbing clear up to the sky..."
I had those lyrics from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" on my mind last week as we drove past fields and fields full of corn on our way Up North. The song, and the fields, evoke a simpler time. A time when, as a child, I looked forward to corn season all summer long.
Corn would start to appear in the grocery stores in late June, all shucked and wrapped in plastic, weeks before the official start of corn season. I would petition for this shrink-wrapped corn, thinking it would be better than nothing (and better than any of the vegetables that I tried to avoid the rest of the year), but my mom would have nothing of it. Too tough; no flavor, she said.
But once the corn started showing up on roadside stands and in the seasonal produce markets on the outskirts of town in early August, we would eat it every night for the rest of the summer. My job was to sit at the picnic table in the back yard and shuck the corn.
There's a real skill in shucking corn. First, you want to leave enough of the stalk so you have something to hold on to. The most important part of shucking the corn is making sure you remove all of the corn silks. It can be a tedious process; one I rarely have the patience to do properly these days.
These days I also have less patience for dribbling butter and corn juice down my chin, so I've taken to cutting the kernels from the cob and sauteing them. Usually I just cook them in butter with salt and pepper, but this recipe is a fun way to add color and flavor.
You can serve this with burgers, steaks, fish ... really anything you cook on the grill. If you've got your ingredients in place, you can pull it together in the time it takes for your meat to sit after it comes off the grill.
A note on cutting the kernels from the cob. You can do it with a paring knife in a very large bowl, cutting very carefully from stem to tip. There are also inexpensive corn strippers and zippers available in most kitchen gadget stores that do a decent job removing the kernels with a minimum of mess.
Ina Garten's Confetti Corn
from Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 small orange bell pepper, 1/2-inch diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kernels cut from 5 ears yellow or white corn (4 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil, minced fresh chives, and/or minced fresh parsley leaves
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. Stir in the bell pepper and saute for 2 more minutes.
Add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt. Over medium heat, add the corn, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the corn just loses its starchiness. Season to taste, gently stir in the basil or other green herbs, and serve hot.