If your use of corn only goes as far as corn-on-the-cob, you’re missing out on one of the great crowd-pleasing ingredients. Removing corn from the cob opens up a world of corn-based dishes ranging from wonderful fresh soups and salads to corn cakes and savory puddings.
A fond and distant childhood memory is when I had new teeth coming in and we were having corn-on-the-cob with dinner. I could not get my new teeth to do the job. So my mother shaved the corn off the cob for me and served my corn in a bowl. Pure and effortless bliss.
To this day corn is on my short list of favorite tastes. One of my most effective summer diets consisted nearly every night, for weeks on end, of sliced tomatoes and red onion, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, followed by…corn-on-the-cob. At Home includes ten recipes using corn and none are for corn-on-the-cob. One of the great side dishes I ever had in a restaurant was at The Slanted Door in San Francisco — Sautéed Fresh Corn and Chanterelle.
Here’s how to shave corn off the cob:
First blanch corn in lightly salted boiling water for about two to three minutes. How long depends on how fresh and tender the corn.
Stand corn on a steady cutting board with the flat, stem side down so that your corn is stable. Your fingers should be at the top above where you begin shaving. Use a sharp chef’s knife. Cut from top to bottom shaving one lengthwise section at a time. Run the knife parallel to corn as pictured, apply gentle pressure as you shave corn away from cob. Try to get as close to cob as you can while still cutting the kernels and not cutting into the tough cob. Rotate corn and shave away another section. Don’t worry if your sections do not exactly overlap.
Next, with the knife perpendicular to cob, scrape the cob to remove residue corn and flavorful milky liquid. Gather corn into a bowl and you’re ready to enter the world of fresh corn dishes for friends and family…At Home.