Beyond the Cob

Everyone goes so hog wild over corn on the cob it seems almost sacreligious to do anything else with it.  But , really, don’t you get just a teensy bit tired of it?  Especially what it does

See - you're not the only one stumped over what to do with an ear of corn!

to your fancy dental work, not to mention how undignified it is.  You know, butter dripping down the chin, kernels stuck between the teeth .. ick.

So what to do with all this … corn.  Don’t resort to early American corn cob doll crafting just yet.  I have some simple and some slightly more complex ideas for what to do with it all. Just be sure no one actually sees you cutting it off the cob because they may have you committed 😉

You could cut it off the cob and saute it, with salt and a little butter or olive oil either by itself or with some diced tomatoes and/or squash.  Simpler still, after you cut the corn off the cob, just sprinkle the raw kernels over a salad or stir them into a soup. If you’ve never tried raw corn, you’re in for a treat, as long as it is very fresh.

A few other ideas that you may not have thought of (but your grandmother surely did) – try making corn the star in either a corn chowder or a corn pudding (recipes below).  The chowder is really just a corn focused vegetable soup, and a great way to use up a lot of your summer vegetables.  To really jazz it up, you can add a cup of fresh cooked crab or shrimp to the pot just before serving.  Corn pudding can be either sweet or savory, and it looks way more complicated to make than it actually is.

Corn has a subtle fresh flavor that you don’t want to overpower with a Big Wine.  Try any of these with the very special Domaine Chaume-Arnaud La Cadène Blanc 2008 ($20). This is a wine that elevates any traditional white wine pairing but is particularly good with simple, elegant foods, where its unique combination of fruit, acidity, flowers, and herbs can be savored.


Corn Chowder


2 Tbsp butter or corn oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 2 or 3 cups)

1 bay leaf

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

8 cups vegetable stock

2 zucchinis or yellow squash, diced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

Dash cayenne pepper

1 cup cream


In deep soup pot, over medium heat, heat butter and sauté onion, celery and potatoes until soft and golden.  Add stock, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth – ish.  Add all vehegtables to soup pot.  Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes over high heat.  Season with salt and pepper, thyme and cilantro.  Add cream and serve hot.

Corn pudding 


4 – 5 ears fresh corn, kernels scraped from cobs (about 2 or 3 cups)

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 TBSP sugar (for sweet pudding, use 3 TBSP)

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper (for sweet pudding, omit)

1 TBSP butter, softened

2 TBSP plain breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 1 quart casserole.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and beat well.  Pour into casserole.  Bake until set (about 35 minutes)

If all else fails, make a doll! At least you won't have to turn on the oven








PS A sad goodbye to Amy Winehouse.  I loved her take no prisoners attitude and her amazing talent; she was a true original. – DJ

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