Surely no other crop is quite as American as corn. The Indians were growing it when the Pilgrims arrived and had discovered through trial and error that the wild grass, adaptable trial and error that the wild grass, adaptable to various conditions and soils, could be cultivated and become an important food source.
Thomas Jefferson, that oft-quoted authority on gardening, believed that a fresh-picked ear of corn "should be run from garden row to the kettle boiling for them before the shock of being cooked has had a chance to make them nervous and revengefully tough."
This is excellent advice, because corn is the vegetable that suffers most from the delay between the garden and the pot.
Our favourite way to eat corn is "on the cob" with melted butter, but there is always a tendency to buy a few extra ears. This is never a loss when you see what delicious dishes can be made from corn off the cob, both raw and cooked.
You will be glad of the surplus. This corn chowder, hearty and rich, with a smoky bacon flavor, makes a great meal-in-a-bowl for a summer supper during the corn season. Corn-off-the-Cob Chowder 2 slices bacon 1/4 cup onion, chopped 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 cups fresh corn cut from cob 1/2 cup celery, chopped 2 cups chicken broth 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups buttermilk
In 3-quart saucepan cook bacon until crisp. Remove and drain, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. Cook onion in drippings until tender but not brown. Add potatoes, corn, celery, 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
blend flour and remaining chicken broth. Add to vegetable mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Turn heat to low. Stir in buttermilk. Heat through but do not boil. Top with crumbled bacon. Serves 6. 1776 Corn Casserole 2 cups fresh corn kernels, about 4 ears 1/2 cup butter, melted 2 eggs 1 cup sour cream 1 cup diced Monterey Jack cheese 1/2 cup cornmeal 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter 2-quart rectangular casserole. Puree corn with butter and eggs in blender or food processor. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Add pureed mixture and blend well. Pour into prepared casserole and bake, unconvered, 50 to 60 minutes. Serves 6. corn Saland Medley 1 cup water 2 cups corn kernels, about 4 ears 3/4 cup light corn syrup 2/3 cup red wine vinegar 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dillweed 1 small onion, sliced 2 cups cooked, cut wax beans 2 cups cooked, cut green beans 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
Heat water to boiling in medium-size saucepan. Add corn. Cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes or just until tender. Drain. Place in large bowl.
Combine corn syrup, vinegar, oil, salt, and dill in medium-size bowl. Pour over corn. Stir in onion, wax and green beans, and red pepper. Toss lightly. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. Drain marinade. Serve in a lettuce- lined bowl. Makes 6 cups. Golden Corn Dollars 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cups fresh corn cut from cob, about 4 ears 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper Vegetable oil
Combine eggs, corn, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in medium-size bowl. Stir to blend well. Heat skillet or griddle slowly. Add enough oil to coat lightly. Test temperature by sprinkling a few drops of water on hot surface. When drops bounce, temperature is right.
Measure a scant tablespoon of batter for each pancake onto griddle. Cook until holes appear on top. Turn and cook briefly until bottoms are brown. Remove to warm platter. Repeat with remaining batter, stirring frequently.Serve with sour cream or chutney if you wish. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen small corn dollars. Mexican Corn-Squash Scramble 2 tablespoons oil 1 small onion, thinly sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 pound zucchini, cut in 1/4-inches slices 1 1/2 cups cooked corn cut from cob 1 cup chopped tomatoes 1/2 teaspoon oregano Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender. Add zucchini, corn, tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Serves 6. Confetti Corn Relish 1/2 cup vinegar 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon celery seed 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 1 1/2 cups cooked corn cut from cob 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper 1 tablespoon chopped pimento 1 tablespoon minced white or green onion
Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to boil. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Place remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Add cooled mixture and blend lightly. Chill. This relish will keep indefinitely in refrigerator.Flavor improves with standing. Makes about 1 2/3 cups.