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
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
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!