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TODAY recipes
updated 8/11/2010 10:05:40 AM ET 2010-08-11T14:05:40

When corn is at its peak, think beyond the cob; put the cob in a bowl and run a knife down the side, rotating with each slice, to remove the kernels.

Tossed raw in a salad, grilled or broiled and then removed from the cob — either makes for a fresh addition to summer dishes.

All of these recipes use fresh corn though, truth be told, in a pinch frozen corn is a respectable substitute.

An average ear of corn has an average of 16 rows and 800 kernels — fun fact!

Recipe: Corn salsa (on this page) Recipe: Crunchy corn guacamole (on this page) Recipe: Corn and white bean salad (on this page) Recipe: Corn chowder (on this page) Recipe: Corn bread (on this page)

Recipe: Corn salsa

  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels (grilled or broiled is best)
  • 2 medium poblanos, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion or red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne or chili powder, optional

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste, adjust the seasoning as you like.


Serve or refrigerate for up to 2 days (bring the salsa back to room temperature and check the seasoning again before serving).

Serving Size

Makes about 2 cups

Recipe: Crunchy corn guacamole

  • 2 large or 3 medium avocados
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded and minced (optional), or cayenne to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Cut the avocados in half and reserve the pits if you will not be serving the guacamole right away. Peel, then mash the pulp in a bowl with a fork or potato masher, along with the onion, garlic (if you are using it), chile, chili powder, corn, some salt and pepper and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.


Garnish and serve or tuck the pits back into the mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours (this will keep the guacamole from turning brown). Remove the pits before garnishing and serving.

Serving Size

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe: Corn and white bean salad

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 4 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the garlic, tomatoes, corn and beans, and gently stir until everything it coated with the dressing. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, stir in the basil and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe: Corn chowder

  • 6 ears fresh corn
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 /2 cup chopped scallion
  • 1 /2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 /4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk or half-and-half

Shuck the corn. Stand each ear up in a bowl and use a knife to scrape off the kernels. Put the corncobs and 2 cups water in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid 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, checking occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Leave the cobs in the pot until you are ready to make the soup, then discard them and save the corncob broth.

Put the butter or oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the scallion and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 1 minute. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to turn golden and the flour no longer smells raw, just a couple of minutes. Add the milk and the reserved corncob broth and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir or whisk constantly until the flour is dissolved and the soup starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the corn kernels and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the soup bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender and the soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.


Possible additions to corn chowder:
Shrimp, lobster or crab

Crispy bacon, ham or chorizo

Cheddar, Parmesan or goat cheese

Chopped fresh basil or tarragon

Pinch of saffron

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Corn bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cups corn kernels

Heat the oven to 375 F. Put the butter in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet or square metal baking pan over medium heat. Heat the butter, swirling it around the pan, until it's nice and hot, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and maple syrup. Pour the wet ingredients, along with the corn, into the dry, and stir until it's just combined. If it looks too dry, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top with the spoon, and put in the oven.

Bake until the top is lightly browned, the sides have pulled away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes Serve hot or warm, with more butter or maple syrup if you like.

Serving Size

Makes about 6 servings

Video: Fresh corn – off the cob

  1. Closed captioning of: Fresh corn – off the cob

    >>> cook everything today, corn off the cob . mark bittman , author of "how to cook everything" is here with some great recipes to take advantage of the seasonal treat. mark, good morning.

    >> good morning, meredith.

    >> tis the season for corn on the cob . the best way to find a good ear, i pull the husk down to take a look.

    >> you want tightly packed kernels and juiciness. there should be liquid in there.

    >> and how do you get it off?

    >> the easiest thing is to stand it up in a bowl so the kernels won't go flying and use a small knife and shave right down the cob.

    >> so that is raw?

    >> that is raw.

    >> you don't cook it first?

    >> you can. we just did this actually. here's a grilled piece of corn and you can strip this the same way and that's actually what i did here, grilled the corn first, stripped the kernels. now you have grilled corn in a bowl which is sort of still raw, not to be crunchy but a nice edge of char on it and we're going to --

    >> what are you making here now?

    >> corn salsa and chopped chillies.

    >> is that hot?

    >> cilantro. they're a little hot. scallion. this is a very, very flavorful and delicious salsa.

    >> okay. and then you mix that all together?

    >> you have a terrific salsa. the other great thing is to mix it --

    >> i never heard of that.

    >> i know and i hate to say this but i think i might have invented it.

    >> just by mistake?

    >> it just seemed like a good idea. roasted corn. this is beautiful.

    >> it looks very good.

    >> roasted corn. well, we have towels. roasted corn and put in guacamole and have crunchy guacamole.

    >> a corn and bean, white bean, salad.

    >> you can use black beans . white beans. this is raw corn.

    >> it is raw.

    >> just stripped from the cob, chopped tomatoes.

    >> specifically raw? never cooked?

    >> corn is very flexible, tastes good in all forms and even in the off-season frozen corn is terrific. but here we are, it's august. it should be good enough to eat raw.

    >> that is very good.

    >> it is.

    >> mix that up together?

    >> a little vinaigrette. as i said, you could use black means here if you want, some basil. again, some chopped garlic. salt and pepper .

    >> and there you have a bean salad , corn/beans.

    >> to me it looks like it needs more olive oil .

    >> would you mix that all together?

    >> yep. it looks very lovely like that.

    >> we'll move on to corn chowder which i don't think of as a summer soup.

    >> well this -- maybe not but now we've been stripping the cobs of their kernels, with a do we do with the cobs? make corn stock and that is basically water and corn cobs have a huge amount of flavor. they're just hard to eat. you boil water with the cobs and then you get this. it's cold now so you can just stick your finger in there.

    >> oh, that's delicious, very sweet. it's very good.

    >> we take that, we have some butter and scallions simmering here and a tiny bit of sugar.

    >> why?

    >> just in case our corn isn't quite sweet enough which sometimes happens.

    >> and flour.

    >> flour. mix that up so it's smooth.

    >> we've come to help make it.

    >> of course.

    >> nothing could be sweeter.

    >> what do you do with that?

    >> now you add your corn stock and all of your corn.

    >> okay.

    >> and what's great about this, it's corn -- then we're going to add a lot of milk. you could use half and half if you want. and now if you adhere obviously this beautiful corn chowder which you're welcome to taste, you could make clam chowder with this, corn/clam, corn/potato, anything you want at that point.

    >> and then add a little corn bread .

    >> you can use a bacon garnish.

    >> knock yourself out.

    >> very, very nice, mark. mark bittman , thank you so much.

    >> that is amazing.


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