The other day, I was taken by surprise to find corn on the cob at a farmstand in Sterling, MA. I brought a few ears home for us to have for supper and to share some next door with G.’s mother and brother.
Taking the first bite the other night, G. said, “best corn EVER” and we’ve had quite a bit of it this late summer/fall season. Although the corn kernels were nothing to write home about and looked tough, they turned out to be very tender and very sweet besides. Luscious and such a treat in the middle of October!~
So, of course, hearing the weather forecast for a heavy frost coming this Monday, I had to go back out and buy some more corn to put up in the freezer to have when the snow flies. At the farmstand were issues of “an edible feast” – a local beautifully designed compendium of recipes, articles and advertisements placed by locally sourced providers of handmade food from groceries and in restaurants.
One of the reasons I went back for more fresh corn was that the articles/recipes in the magazine sounded so appealing for a holiday meal – either at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Here’s one in all its simplicity:
Corn clam chowder
- fry 2-3 slices of good bacon; drain and hold bacon aside for later.
- in bacon fat, brown chopped vidalia onion and a couple cloves of smashed/chopped garlic – drain fat if needed; add a tablespoon or two of flour and blend it in (this will thicken the soup later)
- Cut up 4-5 very small Yukon potatoes and add to the soup
- add homemade corn broth/stock (!) along with some rich chicken stock
- add 1 packet of corn kernels (from about 3 cobs)
- simmer gently
- add half a dozen scrubbed littleneck clams; cook until they open
- taste soup for seasoning and add salt/pepper
- add a little cream if desired and stir soup; serve with crumbled bacon and chopped fresh parsley on top
I haven’t tried this recipe as yet but it sounds straightforward enough. So, I decided to take another ride in the country to buy another batch of late corn on the cob.
Since it’s Saturday, I wanted to process the ears of corn before they spoiled, stored out in the pantry. Thankfully, G. arrived home from tuning a couple of pianos and he set to de-silking the ears of corn that I was shucking. It’s a tedious and time-consuming job to de-silk corn. Anyhow, we decided to do it by hand and not to rinse the ears under water to remove the silk since I planned to put up freezer packs of 3 ears of corn apiece and didn’t want any water mixed in with the corn kernels.
Halfway through, I remembered the recipes in the magazine that called for making a stock from the shorn corn cobs which still contained the milky flavor of the corn. Into a stockpot went all the cobs to simmer for an hour under low heat. Will store this corn ‘stock’ in the freezer along with the corn to make cream of corn soup or other recipes later on when the spirit moves me.
This might seem like a lot of effort to go to for fresh corn on the cob. But if you enjoy this summer bounty as much as we do, you’ll agree that it’ll be super tasty to have corn pudding or a corn chowder on the dinner table when there’s snow on the ground!