sweet corn

Sinking your teeth into an ear of hot, buttery corn on the cob is a ritual of summer. Of course, the first step toward enjoying that ear of corn is to free it from the green leaves and shimmery strands of corn silk that encase it. Pulling slippery fibers from your teeth can detract from the enjoyment of this classic summertime treat. If you have ever struggled to remove those stubborn threads, you may appreciate these tips for easily shucking and enjoying an ear of corn.

8. Choosing Corn

Choosing Corn

When choosing sweet corn in your grocery store produce section or at your favorite farm stand, give each cob a gentle squeeze to test for firmness. Most of us can’t resist pulling down a section of the outer husk to check for those plump, healthy kernels inside. However, you can also inspect the outer husk of your corn cob for brown patches or worm holes, mushiness, and stickiness. Choose cobs that are firm to the touch, have moist, healthy-looking tassels, and are free from squishy patches or browning.

7. Shucking Corn

Shucking Corn

Some people like to shuck their corn right there in the grocery store produce section. This is a great way to keep your kitchen free of corn husks and silk. Hold an ear of corn firmly in one hand, then grasp the tassels and a section of the tough outer husk, pulling swiftly down to strip them from the corn. Make your way around the ear of corn, removing sections of silk and leaves. Then, break off the bottom of the stalk. You can run your hands along the cob to remove traces of corn silk that remain.

6. Tools of the Trade

Corn Tools

Your microwave can make shucking corn a little easier. First, trim off the tip of the cob, just above the first row of juicy kernels. Then, microwave three ears of corn at a time on high for about 30 seconds. Next, grasp an ear of corn by the uncut end and shake the cob free from its husk and silk. If any silky strands cling to the kernels, or if you elect not to use your microwave, use a brush to remove the stubborn threads. You can use a vegetable brush or purchase a toothbrush to use for this task.

5. Cooking Your Corn

Cooking Corn

To boil your sweet corn, fill a large pot about ¾ full of water and bring to a boil. Add your ears of corn, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Use the tines of a fork to check for tenderness. If you prefer, you can cook an ear or two of sweet corn in the microwave. Wrap an ear of corn in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for three to five minutes. For truly flavorful corn, try grilling. Bobby Flay has a recipe for Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob paired with either BBQ butter or herb butter.

4. Make a Corn Salad

Corn Salad

If any cooked ears of corn remain after a meal, you can use the kernels to make a refreshing, summery corn salad. Place an ear of corn on your cutting board, either lying flat or standing on one end. Then, use a sharp knife to slide down the length of the cob removing the kernels. Rotate the ear of corn until you have sliced the kernels from the entire cob. Delish has a recipe for Corn Salad that calls for corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, feta, and red onion mixed with a lime vinaigrette.

Related: 9 Reasons to Add Popcorn to Your Diet

3. Mix Up a Batch of Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Corn makes a great addition to salsa recipes. The Minimalist Baker has a recipe for Perfect Grilled Corn Salsa. This recipe uses two ears of corn, red onion, tomatoes, and a serrano or jalapeno pepper. You can also try Cookie and Kate’s recipe for Black Bean and Corn Salsa. This recipe combines black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, fresh cilantro, and a jalapeno pepper. These summery salsas are a perfect appetizer when served with chips. They also make delicious side dishes on taco night.

2. Bake a Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a comforting treat on a cooler day. Allrecipes has a recipe for Fresh Corn Pudding that you can make from those extra ears of corn—or ones you buy specifically for this purpose. To make this treat, combine fresh corn kernels with milk, eggs, butter, flour, and sugar and bake in the oven for a satisfying dish. For a different take, try Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Fresh Corn Casserole. This recipe calls for just five ingredients: corn, heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper.

1. Make Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters

Corn fritters can be a delightful appetizer or an accompaniment to any meal. The Chunky Chef has a recipe for Sweet Corn Fritters with a Spicy Aioli. This recipe combines corn with milk, eggs, green onions, garlic, cilantro, cornmeal, and flour. The spicy aioli uses mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, and honey. The Chunky Chef shapes her batter into balls before frying in oil. Meanwhile, Just a Taste has a recipe for Quick and Easy Corn Fritters that you will shape into patties before frying.

Related: Eating Corn Can Give You These 7 Healthy Benefits


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