Shuck and awe: 4 creative ways to enjoy summer corn

Instead of eating corn straight from the cob, try these delicious recipes featuring the fresh summer staple. Here, Mark Bittman makes two kinds of corn salad, corn-and-coconut milk soup and corn-and-crab cakes.

Corn salad with tomatoes and basil
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 4 to 6 ears corn (about 3 1/2 cups kernels)
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or good vinegar
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Shuck the corn, remove the silk, and cut off the stem so the cob has a flat surface. Stand each ear up on a cutting board and scrape off the kernels with a chef's knife; transfer the kernels to a large bowl as you work.Add the cherry tomatoes and fresh basil to the bowl with corn.Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

Corn-and-crab cakes
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
    • 1/2 pound crab meat
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon
    • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup flour, for dredging
    • Lemon wedges for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Put a large skillet on medium heat and add the olive oil.Beat together the egg, corn, crab meat, mayonnaise, and Dijon. Stir in breadcrumbs to bind. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the cakes and dredge them in flour.Add the cakes to the hot pan and brown them on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Mexican-style warm corn salad
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 4 to 6 ears corn (about 3 1/2 cups kernels)
    • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, with reserved liquid
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges, for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Shuck the corn, remove the silk, and cut off the stem so the cob has a flat surface. Stand each ear up on a cutting board and scrape off the kernels with a chef's knife; transfer the kernels to a large bowl as you work.Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn to the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; let sit for 2 minutes until it starts to brown. As the corn browns, shake the pan to distribute it so each kernel is deeply browned on at least one surface.Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cooked or canned black beans with their liquid, and cook for at least 5 minutes more.Meanwhile, in a separate pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and fry four eggs.Remove corn and beans from the heat. Add the cilantro and stir to combine, top with a fried egg and serve, garnished with lime wedges.

Corn-and-coconut milk soup
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 4 to 6 ears of corn
    • 2 cups coconut milk
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
    • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
    • 1 stalk lemongrass, peeled and chopped
    • 1 or 2 seeded and chopped green chiles
    • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Shuck the corn, remove the silk, and cut off the stem so the cob has a flat surface. Stand each ear up on a cutting board and scrape off the kernels with a chef's knife; transfer the kernels to a large bowl as you work.Put the corncobs, coconut milk and 4 cups water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently. Cover and cook until the liquid is quite cloudy, about 30 minutes; discard the corncobs.Put the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the Thai basil, lemongrass and green chiles and cook until chiles are soft, about 3 minutes.Add the chile mixture, corn kernels, and potatoes to broth and cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Garnish with more Thai basil, and serve.

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