Fabulous Fresh Corn Side Dishes

It’s no secret, it’s a banner year for this season’s corn crop! It is soooo good that I’ve eaten it right off the cob without adding anything at all. While there is still fresh corn available, you may want to try these tasty side dishes from Cooks Illustrated • Sept/Oct 2014 issue.

To create corn side dishes with rich, toasted flavor, strip the corn from the cobs when they are raw and then cook the kernels in a nearly smoking skillet. A useful tool to strip the corn off the cob is a Corn Cutter, which we actually bought this year at B B & B, but it’s easy enough to use a sharp chef’s knife. In the skillet, it is important not to stir the corn for a few minutes to give it a chance to brown. Once the corn is cooked, mix in plenty of salty, savory ingredients to balance the sweetness. Finally, an acidic component rounds out the dish.

Sautéed Corn with Bacon and Leeks

bowl.of.salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
  • Salt
  • 4 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

cooked.bacon

chopping.leeks

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate. Pour off and reserve all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet.
  2. Add leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt to fat in skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer leeks to large bowl and wipe out skillet.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved fat in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add corn and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, without stirring, until corn is browned on bottom and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring once or twice, until corn is spotty brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer corn to bowl with leeks.
  4. Stir in chives, 1 tablespoon vinegar, cayenne, and bacon. Season with salt and remaining vinegar to taste. Serve.

Sautéed Corn with Cherry Tomatoes,
Ricotta Salata and Basil

mixed.corn.salad

If ricotta salata is unavailable, substitute feta cheese.

ingredients2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 4 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (4 cups)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled (1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil 1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil and garlic in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is light golden brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to large bowl, leaving oil in skillet.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat and heat until oil is shimmering. Add corn and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, without stirring, until corn is browned on bottom and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring once or twice, until corn is spotty brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer corn to bowl with garlic.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, half of ricotta salata, basil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle with remaining ricotta salata and serve.
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