Oh, how I love a freshly-picked ear of corn! Of course, there are other ways to enjoy this sweet grain; today we’re making :::drum roll::: corn cakes!
We grow a block of corn every year–‘block’ because it’s been our experience that corn gets pollinated more efficiently if the bees can buzz to and fro, rather than down a single long line. Today, right on schedule, the weather in the Great Pacific Northwest turned cold and rainy, and so Mother Nature and I decided that this was corn harvest day.
I store our bounty of corn in the freezer, and this is the way I prepare it. First, I trim the ears, cutting off the extra leaves and the silky tips of the corn with scissors. Then I place the corn in the oven, 325 on the convection setting (so about 350 in a regular oven) for about a half hour, or until the husks look parchmenty, like this–
Then, time to shuck corn! The husk and silk practically fall off of the corn when it’s been roasted in this way.
See? Then the corn goes quickly into a sinkful of cold water. This step is important because it stops the cooking action, which results in tender corn.
Then slice the corn off the cob. We all know this trick already, but it bears repeating that if you stick the pointy end of the corn cob through the hole in your angel food cake pan, the pan will hold the cob, plus you can catch every single delicious kernel.
Once I’ve cut all the corn from the cob, I place the kernels on a cookie sheet and freeze them for several hours before placing them in a freezer bag and putting them into the freezer. This way you can shake out just what you need when you need it. Neat, huh? I couldn’t resist cooking up a batch of corn cakes while I was surrounded by all this fresh deliciousness. Here is my recipe for corn cakes, but really, substituting any number of garden vegetables in this recipe–squash immediately comes to mind–will make a really awesome side dish.
- 3 cups of corn kernels, roasted
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- leaves pulled from several good-sized sprigs of thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 knob of butter
Place butter in skillet and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients, and drop about 1/2 cup of the mixture at a time into the hot skillet, shaping corn cakes as you go with a fork or the back of a metal spatula. When the first side is golden brown, flip the corn cake, and brown on side 2. Repeat until every last morsel of goodness has been fried. Yield: 6 melt-in-your-mouth corn cakes.