Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ah Shucks…

One of the nice things that happens about this time of year is that the corn is sweet and the prices are even sweeter. Last week I found myself at the grocery store standing in front of a pile of Georgia-grown corn and it was on sale at 12 ears for 1.29. At that price I knew I would have to stock up, but I had to make sure it was good and sweet, just the way I like it.

I pulled back on the husks and there in front of me were some nice neat rows of white corn and the kernels looked nice and plump, a sure sign they are full of all that juicy goodness I so love. The silks coming out of the top were plentiful, another good sign — lots of silks means lots of kernels. The silks were on the sticky side, which means the corn is nice and fresh. The last test I do when the produce guy isn't looking, of course, is to pop one of the kernels with my fingernail. Sure enough, the juice squirted out, all milky looking and a quick taste on my tongue told me all all I needed to know — it was good and SWEET!

Now in my new place I am short on storage space and I knew my freezer was just about full already, so I carefully chose just 12 ears and made my way to the check out. I could already taste that fresh fried corn in my mouth and wanted to get home quick before I made a fool of myself by drooling in the market.

Fried corn, cream corn — whatever you choose to call it, I love me some corn! Just don't think I'm talking about creamed corn. Now I know that is standard fare at the holidays and my sis can make one heck of a corn casserole, but I love just corn. Now I do love corn on the cob and I do love corn off the cob, but my very favorite since I was a child is fried corn. Here's how I make mine, you or your granny may make it a bit different, but this is my method.

Shuck the corn. This is best done sitting outside under the shade of a tree with a glass of sweet tea or lemonade near by. I don't know why, but it just tastes better if you shuck corn, shell peas or snap beans in the great outdoors.

Remove the silks. Remove what you can by hand and then get the rest by rubbing the corn with a clean dish towel or a soft brush. Don't worry if you don't get every single one, this isn't rocket science.

Cut off the kernels. Now don't go all the way down to the cob, you just want to get the good, tender part of the kernel, so using a sawing motion cut about three-quarters of the way down.

Milk the corn. What? Have you done lost your mind Shellbelle? That's what you do to cows, not corn! Well, heck yea, but you want to get all that juiciness and remaining pulp to add to the skillet, we are making cream corn after all and we want the cream of the corn, not the cream of a cow. Why some folks want to open up a bottle of milk and add it to their corn is beyond my scope of comprehension. I want to taste the corn and cow's milk just dilutes that.

Now right about now your probably asking yourself how are you supposed to milk an ear of corn? Well honey, they don't have udders, so I guess we'll have to find another way.

I use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels and a table knife to milk scrape out the good stuff. Here they are:

Hold the sharp blade against the corn and cut of the kernels with a sawing motion. (I know I just repeated myself, but that's what happens when you get old.) Then hold the table knife at an angle and scrape the cobs. I warn you this can be a bit messy, so wearing an apron and protective eye goggles is essential. Okay, I'm kidding about the goggles, but if you get juice in your eyes be happy — that is some darn fresh, sweet corn for sure! But I do highly recommend the apron and the cutest one you have. Why? No reason really, I just like cute aprons. (Any men reading this have my permission to skip this part.) I remove all the kernels from all the corn first and then go back and do the milkin'.

Okay, when your done it should look something like this:

See all that yummy sweet corn "milk"

Now add a few tablespoons of butter to your skillet and when I say a few, I mean four or five for this much corn. On a diet? Well, then just use a little Pam so they won't stick, but your missing out on the FULL flavor. I love butter in cakes and on corn. That's just how I roll.

Fry the corn. Add the kernels (not the pulp or juice) to the hot butter and quick fry that up until your kitchen smells like corn heaven. This will only take a couple of minutes, but it will bring out the full flavor of this luscious corn.

Add the corn pulp and juice to your skillet and mix it all up. You can just heat this up and eat right like that or you can continue on for a creamier corn, the way I like it. Now chances are you'll need some more liquid, there's only so much juice  milk in an ear of corn, so at this point add enough water to barely cover the corn. I used about a cup of water to which I whisked in about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Don't add too much cornstarch, just enough to help it thicken a bit.

Simmer. Now just let that simmer down for a few minutes and then taste it. How's it taste? If you like it then it's done, if you like your corn more tender, continue simmering and tasting until it's to your liking. I like mine with a bit of crunch to it. Just be sure you watch and stir while you're simmerin' or you can bet your bottom dollar it will stick to the bottom of your skillet and burn like the dickens. Then you'll have to start all over again with more corn and that just ruins my day. I still have two cornbreads I need to get in the oven. So, if it looks like it's dryin' out and you need to add more water, well then, what are you waiting for? Add a bit more water to the skillet.

Season. Now that your corn is done it is time for the seasoning. NEVER add salt while your cooking corn (and the same holds true when your boiling it); it'll toughen the kernels worsen than the hide on an a gator. Now Im not much of a salter, so you add yours to taste. I love black pepper in my fried corn and lots of it. Now some fancy, smancy chef might tell you to use fresh cracked pepper at this point, but honey, this is good old-fashioned comfort food and my momma didn't know cracked pepper from a hole in the ground. I use ground black pepper and save the cracked stuff for when I'm making seared ahi.

From these 12 ears I ended up with 6 cups of fried corn, so about a half a cup from each ear I reckon (daddy always said I was good with my numbers). I had one cup for supper and froze the rest in five 8-ounce containers. I'll continue to buy fresh corn for now, but believe you me, when good, sweet corn is hard to come by, and that'll be pretty soon now, I know I'll have me some more in the freezer. I need to get a bigger freezer!

Now I'd like to thank all y'all for stopping by today. I linked this recipe up with Michael over at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. So be dears, and stop in and see her and everyone else cookin' something up for you today.

Tell her Shellbelle said hello and don't forget…

Y'all come back now, y'hear!

33 Thoughtful Comments:

Melissa said...


koralee said...

Thank you so much for visiting me the other day....your sweet comment made my day. I sooo love corn and this looks amazingly good..thank you so much for sharing...I now know how to milk a cob of corn! Your blog is lovely~xoxo

The Quintessential Magpie said...

LOL! Rhonda, you are singing my tune! I love a girl who loves her butter! That corn looks delicious. Enjoy it for me, too.


Sheila :-)

Haden News said...

I have never made corn this way. It looks so good! I am going to the Farmer's Market this weekend, hope the corn looks as good as yours!

Sherrie said...

I have never seen corn made this way but I'm thinking I will have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing your recipe :0)

Magdalena said...

Hi Sweetie Pie,
This looks and sounds Delish!! I love corn and am always looking for new ways to make it. Hope you are well. I told my husband I'm taking a road trip with Oliver and Jojo, my mom down South in March/April and stopping by Shellbelles for brownies! He said it sounds like a great time. I sure hope it comes true one day soon!!!
Take Care of yourself my friend
Bunny and Oliver says hello
ps, I am doing a cocktail glass giveaway stop by when you have time.

Shay said...

Yep- that's the way my mama makes it too- she scrapes all that goodness of that cob of corn!!! Yummmm-there is nothing like a southern cook.

Lynn said...

Looks great and it seems like an easy way to freeze corn for later-thanks!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I ate creamed corn out of the can when I was young and just loved it.
I will surely try this blast from the past yummy good recipe!

Drawn to The Sea said...

just like granny used to make ;-)

Joyce said...

I would file this recipe under finger licking good!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love corn in any way, shape or form and this way sounds great!

Jane said...

Hey Rhonda!

This is one of my FAVORITE summertime dishes! Just add some black-eyed peas, sliced juicy tomatoes and a vidalia onion slice...put it all over cornbread, and you have my favorite summer meal. Of course, the CORN makes it all work...

Jane (artfully graced)

Ms. Bake-it said...

You are too funny Rhonda! This post had me seriously laughing out loud!

I love fresh corn! My friend's mother taught me how to prepare corn like this but I have not done so in a long time. Guess I better hie myself off to the market to get me some of that there fresh corn so I can fix me up some of these vittles. Thank ye ma'am for sharing this here recipe!

~ Tracy

Melodie said...

Wow - yummy. Recipes like this make me wonder why I didn't ever think of this before! I invite you to link up at my Vegetarian Foodie Fridays carnival. Would love to have you.
Melodie @ Breastfeeding Moms Unite . com

Anonymous said...

Okay, that's it! I'm coming over! That looks great. I boiled 2 ears of corn on Wednesday for me and my husband, but I ended up eating both! Ha = ) This look great. I honestly never knew how to make creamed corn, so we do not eat it. But thanks to your awesome tutorial - may just try it this weekend for the summer ears of corn are no more. Thanks hut for a great shared treat. Happy weekend.

Kristen said...

Oh how I love homemade creamed corn. I was skeptical the first time I made it because the canned stuff is so awful, but there is simply no comparison!

One trick that I learned from a TV chef: Put a small bowl (cereal size) upside down in a much bigger bowl. Stand the ear of corn on that upside down bowl when cutting and milking the corn. All of the yummy kernels stay in the big bowl (sliding down the sides of the little upside down bowl) and nothing sloshes onto the counter.

The Fajdich Times said...

That was a very interesting story. Didn't know how to milk corn. It looks so good. Great post:)

Simple Daisy said...

That looks fabulous!! Corn,corn and more corn....that's what we have here in Indiana:)

rjerdee said...

Corn heaven? You're too funny, Rhonda!!! So passionate about your corn! You've inspired me to go after the five ears I have in my refrigerator...not as fresh as yours but nevertheless worthy of my lunch today. Thanks for the inspiration! Loved the title, Aw, Shucks!! Corny :)
Have a great weekend, Rhonda, and I always love coming here for a visit.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

mmm mmmm yuumeeeeeee ... we just had some sweet Georgia corn straight from the farm...can't get bettern' that !


The Decorative Dreamer said...

I've never been a fan of creamed corn. Maybe cause I didn't really know how to make it! This looks really good! I love fresh corn on the cob thought and those corn cobs looked great to me! Thanks for the recipe!

Shannon said...

Hey!! I was born in Milledgeville, Georgia and creamed corn straight from my Grandmother's black cast iron skillet is one of my favorite memories and foods! Thanks for taking me back!! I live in Madison, Wisconsin now, as far from the ocean as I could be, but I just pop up to my "ocean room" when I need a little fix. It is decorated with all ocean things and a mural my sister painted! I love it! Have a grea weekend! Shannon :)

Gridiron Girl said...

Just stumbled upon your lovely blog and thought I say hello. Now I simply won't be happy until make a big batch of fried corn.

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome! So glad I found your blog :)

Our Porch in Hillsborough said...

What a great tribute to corn! It's one of my favorite things about summer, too and here in NC we cook it just the way you do. Our prices are quite as low though - maybe a bit later in the season. Yummy!

Jane said...

Coming to Dunedin? Yippee!!! Hope we can get together when you are here.

Jane (artfully graced)

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Hmm, to sit on ones porch, sipping coffee, latte or tea, watching the pretty flowers in the garden and have a big bite in this deliciousness... that's indeed what relaxing is all about!
Hugs for a wonderful weekend loaded with R&R moments. xxx

The Florida Blogger said...

I've never been one for cream corn, but I loaded up at Publix, too, since they've been on sale.

{oc cottage} said...

YUMMY!!!! My grandmothers cooked like that! Oh how I miss it!

m ^..^

CHERI said...

Great do you get them so BIG and so CLEAR? Mine don't look like that..unfortunately. We put up corn in the freezer every year...MUCH work but well worth it when winter comes!!!! I just won my first (maybe only) BLOG AWARD. I am to share it with 15 people and I chose you as I really enjoy your blog. Please don't feel you have to participate, however, because as I understand it some bloggers don't like to deal with awards. I felt I needed to try it at least once since someone was kind enough to visit my blog and share with me. See my blog to better understand.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Yum! That is my favorite way to eat corn! Nothing like some good Silver Queen corn to make it feel like summer! Happy Sunday!...Debbie

Suzy said...

What a bargain you got! Nothing like fresh sweet corn.

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