Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674

Cooking in Langley: corn one of summer’s delights

Check out www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

  • Aug. 12, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Corn is one of summer’s delights

 

A much loved side dish with summer meals is good old-fashioned corn on the cob. Farm fresh corn during the summer is very abundant and popular in the Fraser Valley where I live, but I know that there are many other areas also rich in this agricultural gold. No matter where one resides in North America, it always seems to be available fresh during the summer.

Whole corn on the cob should either be eaten on the day of purchase or stored in the refrigerator, as the natural sugars convert to starch faster in the presence of warm temperatures.

Corn can be a very healthy part of a balanced diet as its dietary profile includes vitamin B1, folate, dietary fibre, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese. Everything, however, should be consumed in moderation, including the amount of butter and salt that is applied to the finished product.

Fresh cracked pepper is one of my favourite toppings (along with the butter and salt) and is a great way to add tons of flavour. Let your creativity run wild in the kitchen and discover what else you can top your corn on the cob with. The internet and local libraries are full of great recipe ideas.

If grilling your corn on the cob instead of boiling it, try it over lump charcoal – the taste difference is amazing. I simply pull off the husks and place the cobs directly on the grill, while rotating them occasionally until mostly all the kernels are slightly charred.

The uses for fresh corn on the cob do not stop with just cooking whole. By standing the corn on end, carefully take a sharp knife and run it down the cob to remove the kernels. This will allow you to enjoy the fresh taste of corn in any recipe that calls for kernels of corn.

One tip to catch the kernels efficiently is to use an angel food cake pan. With the cake pan sitting securely on a damp towel on the counter, stand the point of the cob of corn on the inner tube of the pan coming up the centre. This will help to keep the cob steady and the falling removed kernels will collect in the cake pan.

Try this compound butter recipe for something different the next time you have corn on the cob. It’s one our favorites.

Tequila Lime Chili Butter

1 cup salted butter, room temperature

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp tequila

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp finely chopped lime zest

Extra salt and pepper, if desired

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Mix at medium speed, gradually increasing to high speed until fully combined, stopping halfway to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Store at room temperature for a few days, or longer in the refridgerator. Spread on hot cooked corn and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Makes approximately 1 cup of compound butter.

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