Story by Chef Mick Rosacci of Tony’ Meat Market – Sweet local corn is here, and at low summer prices, why not eat it several times a week! This week we’ve got some great recipes to keep summer corn interesting enough to eat every night! Read on for new ideas to kick up your corn in both written and video recipes.
We proudly stock corn from both Olathe and the Musso’s Family Farm in Pueblo. Olathe is great but I always come home with Musso’s Peaches & Cream corn for it’s incredible sweetness. The Musso’s have won so many Blue Ribbons at the State Fair they’ve been retired from competition. Carl and his guys pick the ears at sunrise every Thursday morning and drive them up to us a few hours later – corn just doesn’t get any better!
We’ve been buying local produce from the Musso Family since I was a kid! They grow most of our summer vegetables such as green beans, Vidalia-seed onions, spring onions, peas, beets, summer and winter squashes, pickling cucumbers, cubanelle peppers, tomatoes, a variety of melons and the green chiles for our roasts. Every year brings a few new vegetables, I can hardly wait to see what comes each week! Also don’t miss his green chiles, we roast them every fall and keep in our freezer cases while they last.
Corn is all about sugar, and when ripe and fresh it the highest sugar level of any fruit or vegetable. I’ve consistently measured Musso’s corn at 16-18° brix (the same as Rocky Ford Cantaloupes on a good year) and have had readings as high as but as 24° brix towards the end of the season, now that’s crazy sweet!
Cooking Tips and Recipes
Steaming or Boiling
While steaming or boiling fresh corn is a great method, keep in mind the goal is only to heat it through. Well-meaning cooks often overcook fresh corn, diminishing it’s sweetness and texture. Sweetcorn doesn’t actually have to be cooked, the goal is to just heat it through for the ultimate sweet-crispness, generally a few minutes at boil or steam is all it takes.
Grilling is another great way to prepare corn, here are some tasty options…
- Shuck, mist with oil, sprinkle with seasonings (like our Z Blend, Cajun, Balsamic Chicken Rub, Cherry Ancho Rub or our Lime or Orange Pepper) and grill over direct heat to toast quickly.
- Season, grill then brush with BBQ Sauce.
- Pull hull back, remove little white hairs with a wet towel, rub with butter, herbs and seasonings and wrap back in husk and foil for grilling.
- Cut the kernels from the uncooked cob, blend with other veggies, a little butter and seasonings and grill in a foil bundle (en papillote).
- Season and toast on the grill, then remove kernels for salads, salsas and garnishes.
- Brush with oil or butter, sprinkle with a zesty Southwestern or Cajun seasoning, grill, brush in butter again and immediately roll in crumbled goat cheese or grated cheddar – lots of different seasoning and cheese options.
Few foods have the ‘WOW’ factor of great Creamed Corn, the ultimate corn recipe in my book! Creamed Corn is a very special dish, so I make it nice and rich, sharing small portions topped with a mini Crab Cake or Salmon Patty, or a jumbo grilled Shrimp or Scallop. Find both the video and written recipe below, along with some other tasty recipes and a second video recipe for a Summer Antipasto Salad Sandwich (Carl Musso’s recipe).
Crab Croquettes and Creamed Corn Recipe
The ultimate creamed corn topped with crab cakes, also great with grilled salmon, halibut or scallops – video and recipe follow
Crab Croquettes and Creamed Corn
8 large ears Colorado Sweet Corn
1 cup half and half – separated
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp cayenne
white pepper and sea salt to taste
4 Tony’s prepared Crab Cakes – or a crab cake recipe follows
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
butter, olive oil or a combination – for sautéing
Garnish: 1/2 bunch green onions, minced; one tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
Cut kernels from corn. Using the back of a knife, scrape the cob to extract the milk and add to the corn. Divide corn into two batches. Puree two cups of the corn with 1/2 cup half and half. Melt butter in a saute pan, add pureed corn, remaining corn kernels, cream, remaining half and half, cayenne, and salt to taste. Simmer until thickened.
Reshape Tony’s Crab Cakes into smaller croquettes or patties and roll in panko crumbs. Saute in a heavy skillet with butter, olive oil or a combination – cooking until nicely browned on each side.
Separate creamed corn into attractive flat bowls, topping each with a browned Crab Croquette. Garnish with chopped green onion and tomatoes.
Serve with a brisk, fruity to off-dry white wine. Also delicious with seared scallops, salmon, or halibut. Serves 4-6 as a main course, 12 plus as an appetizer / first course
Crab Cake Recipe
2 slices dried bread, crusts removed
2 TBS milk
1 TBS mayonnaise
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Parsley Flakes
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp Old Bay brand seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 pound fresh lump crab meat
Directions: Break bread into small pieces and moisten with milk. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
Chef Mick Rosacci posts recipes for www.TonysMarket.com and www.TonyRosacciCatering.com out of the Front Range/Denver area.