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In the Kitchen: Enjoy corn while it lasts

Now that summer is coming to a close, I find myself wanting to eat corn as much as possible while it is still here. 

Sweet corn is truly magical — you hardly have to do anything to it — a little bit of butter or olive oil, salt and pepper. 

We love to grill it but it’s even terrific if you roast it in the oven. I also love to cut it off the cob and use it in all sorts of recipes. Here are some of my favorites. 

 One Thanksgiving I made this when our children were all young. I didn’t think any of them would eat something called “Corn Pudding,” but they all loved it. You could even cut some kernels off the cobs and freeze it for your Thanksgiving Day feast. That is what I am going to do.

Corn pudding

2 cups corn kernels cut off the cob

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sour cream 7 tablespoons butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Place corn kernels in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until corn is tender, about five minutes. Drain. 

In a blender, combine heavy cream and 1 ½ cups of the cooked corn. Pulse until it is still a little coarse. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking soda. 

In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, melted butter, egg, pureed corn mixture and remaining corn. 

Whisk sour cream mixture into flour mixture. Pour into skillet or dish. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 35-40 minutes. 

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. 

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If you think you don’t like corn chowder, please try this recipe. In a pinch you can substitute frozen corn, but at least once, please try this using fresh corn. 

Corn chowder

8 ounces bacon, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cups onions, chopped (4 large ones)

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

12 cups chicken stock

5 cups Yukon gold potatoes, diced (unpeeled)

10 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob

2 cups half and half

1/2 pound extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onions and butter and cook until onions are translucent. Add flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for two to three minutes, stirring constantly. 

Add chicken stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. In a separate pot, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the corn kernels, cooking three to four minutes. Drain corn and add to the pot along with the half and half. Cook 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Stir in the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cooked bacon. 

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This is Mexican street food and it is addictive. Use good quality mayonnaise — or better yet, make some from scratch. If you have an immersion blender, which I highly recommend, making homemade mayonnaise takes just a few minutes.

You just put some oil in a wide mouthed Mason jar (I like to use avocado oil), add an egg, some ground mustard, some fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and then use your immersion blender until you have mayonnaise. It is actually quite magical. If you are not familiar with Cotija cheese, you need to get familiar. 

Some foodie people say Parmesan is a good substitute, but I respectfully disagree. You can find it in most regular grocery stores in the Mexican dairy case area. It usually comes in a bag, already finely grated. 

Mexican street corn

4 ears corn

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise

Pinch garlic powder

Pinch onion powder

1 cup Cotija cheese, finely grated

1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced

Shuck corn and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill corn over medium-high heat until charred in some places. Remove to a platter. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise with garlic and onion powder. When cool enough to handle, slather corn with mayonnaise mixture. Place Cotija and cilantro on a plate and then roll corn in it — coating it well with cheese and cilantro.