As a kid, I would gorge myself on freshly husked and boiled sweet corn during its brief season every August ― sometimes eating half a dozen ears for dinner and nothing else.
Now, thanks to dozens of different hybrids created to ripen throughout the summer, we can have more corn more often.
So after that first rush of eating the tender ears simply buttered and salted, what else can you do with them?
Grill them as well as boil them, of course (we are in the West, after all). Beyond that, we've developed some seriously delicious ways to keep corn on the table and everyone glad to see it there.
Chicken and Corn Summer Chowder
Both rich and light, this one-pot meal has a fresh, bright topping of avocado, tomato, cilantro, and lime.
Market Salad with Corn, Beets, Fennel, and Cucumber
By tossing each ingredient separately and adding seasonings to the dressing as you go, you'll have an elegant salad with several layers of flavors (and plenty of vegetables).
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Sweet corn is a favorite ice cream flavor in Mexico, where the kernels are usually stirred in whole. We've grated them to extract their sweet, milky liquid and used the kernels and liquid as part of the custard base.
BUYING, BOILING, GRILLING
Best way to buy corn For convenience, you may be tempted to buy husked corn wrapped in plastic. However, for optimum flavor, get corn in the husk; the covering keeps it moist and fresh, and slows down the conversion of natural sugars into starch. The longer corn is off the stalk, the less sweet it becomes, so look for ears with pliable husks, sweet-smelling tassels, and no browning on the stem ― all signs of fresh-picked corn.
Best way to boil corn The easiest way to cook corn is to bring a pot of unsalted water to a boil, drop in the husked ears, cover, and turn off the burner. The heat of the water will gently cook the kernels, and the corn will stay hot for at least an hour. Serve with butter, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Best way to grill corn When simple boiled corn loses its appeal, try this: Pull back (without detaching) the outermost layer of each husk. Remove inner leaves and silk, then brush kernels with olive oil or melted butter and dust with chili powder. Pull up the still-attached outer husk to cover each cob, tie it shut at the top with kitchen twine or a strip of husk, and grill the ears over a medium-hot fire (you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds) until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with wedges of lime for squirting if you like. (Alternatively, you can husk the ears, season them, and wrap them in foil before grilling.)