Corn recipes that really pop

features@beaufortgazette.comAugust 15, 2012 

Corn has been plentiful this season. When shopping for corn, choose fresh cobs with medium-sized kernels that yield slightly when pressed with fingertips. Corn should be stored in the refrigerator. When preparing, strip off the husks and silk; brush with a vegetable brush to get rid of clinging silky threads. Rinse the corn briefly under running water.

This is an excellent time to try new corn recipes.

Here are a few to get you started:

SUSSMAN BROTHERS' ROASTED CORN SOUP WITH TOMATO

Makes: 4 servings

2 ripe but firm tomatoes

Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn (about 3 cups)

2 red bell peppers

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

About 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

2 tablespoons salt

1 cup heavy cream

Sliced avocado for garnish

Extra-virgin oil for drizzling

Paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put tomatoes in a lightly greased glass baking dish. Roast until skins darken and tomatoes are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool. Keep oven on.

Spread corn in single layer on baking sheet. Roast until edges begin to turn golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, when tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off skins and discard. Set flesh with juices, aside in baking dish. Remove corn from oven, let cool.

Place peppers under broiler, and broil turning as needed, until charred and blistered on all sidews, about 15 minutes. Transfer peppers to brown paper bag, close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes, then remove peppers from bag. Remove and discard skins, core and seeds.

In soup pot, combine tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow and red onions, garlic and corn, reserving a handful of roasted corn for garnish. Add just enough broth to cover vegetables; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook until vegetable are very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in chili powder and salt. Using immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. While blending, slowly drizzle in cream. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Garnish each portion with a couple of avocado slices, a few drops of olive oil, a scattering of reserved roasted corn and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve hot.

HAM 'N CORN SOUP

Makes: 6 servings

3 quarts water

2 pounds cooked ham, cubed

2 medium onions, chopped

1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

Combine water, ham onions, tomatoes, and green pepper in a large saucepan simmer about 1 hour. Add corn, pepper, sugar and salt; simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

GRILLED CORN-ON-THE-COB

Makes: 6 servings

6 ears fresh corn

Melted butter

Salt and pepper

Husk corn right before cooking. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil. Roast on grill 10 to 20 minutes, turning frequently.

CORN WITH SHRIMP AND PORK

10 ears corn, husk and silk removed, cut from the cob

1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 lb sliced pork or bacon

1 medium-sized onion, sliced

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Cook meat and set aside. Cook garlic until it is brown, add onion until it is withered. Add shrimp, stirring until they appear pink. Add corn, continue to saute the ingredients. Add a little water, season with salt and pepper.

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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