Thursday, March 30, 2006

Corn Days

The next time you shuck a corn-on-the-cob, take one second to admire the fragile and beautiful corn-silk, those silky threads between the husks and the corn!
Unveiling Nature's Silk
Whenever I find myself in the fresh produce aisles at the supermarket, I find it hard to resist the attraction and invariably cart home at least a pair of sweetcorn ears. Removing the husks and the corn-silk to reveal rows upon rows of plump kernels ranging from light straw yellow to deep golden yellow, I'm already anticipating the sweetness of the kernels in whichever form the cooked corn ends up in.

Simple Corn Soup
For a quick mid-week meal, the following corn soup requires no more than 15 minutes to prepare.
  • After shucking the corn, cut the kernels from the cobs (about 1 cup and slightly more for 2 persons, generally I just estimate one cob per person).
  • Thinly slice about half an inch of ginger, and some spring onions.
  • In a deep saucepan, stir-fry the ginger with a teaspoon of oil before adding the corn kernels.
  • Add 1 cup of chicken stock and half a cup of water (depending on the thickness of your stock, you can omit or increase the water - I prefer my soup to be a little more diluted so that the chicken stock does not overwhelm the taste of the corn), and bring to a boil.
  • Add salt and pepper to season. Sometimes, I also add a touch of chinese 'huatiao' cooking wine which goes quite well with the ginger in the soup.
  • Simmer soup on medium heat for a few minutes before adding the sliced spring onions and serve.
Chilli ButterOf course, the fastest way to cook corn is to just dump them (shucked or otherwise) into boiling water for between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want your corn to be and how fresh they are (less cooking time required for really fresh corn). Remove the corn from the pot with tongs (believe me, they are seriously hot and not to be handled with bare hands) and generously slather with dollops of butter. Watch the butter melt as the steam rises from the corn! Hmmmmmmm!

Sometimes, I flavour my butter with finely chopped chilli and coriander and a dash of ground black pepper. When the butter melts, the bits of red and green left behind on the corn add also to the aesthetics!
Spiced Corn-on-the-Cob

And how do you eat your corn-on-the-cob? My style : I chomp on them one row at a time, slowly and steadily moving from right to left and back again (just like an old manual typewriter)!


Anonymous pfong said...

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best. That last photo is a killer shot. Looks just too tempting!

3/31/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous gwenda said...

awww man i'm having a serious craving for corn now! will run out tomorrow to get me some! fab pics as always!

3/31/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Audrey Cooks said...

Happy to say I too have a facination for corn. Lovely photography too.

4/01/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

thanks pfong, it is indeed pleasurable to seek out nature's bounty in its simplistic beauty and goodness!

dear gwenda, I always have a craving for corn, fresh sweet corn, popcorn, corn chips etc.....

hi audrey, welcome and thanks for your kind words - just drop by your blog, found some really interesting home cooking posts - keep it up!

4/01/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger J said...

hi cath, very pretty pictures! there's nothing like attacking a chunk of corn with your hands and teeth, butter dribbling deliciously down the chin (messy eater, i am ;))

4/02/2006 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

*wipe*wipe* drooling liao...nice way to eat ur corn....and true - i do it from left to right...sometimes counting them too but never remembering when

4/02/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger IML said...

yum yum steaming corn with a pat of butter and a dash of colourful bits looks delicious. Ever tried them raw? I did. Only possible when corns are just harvested. I.e. when you are next in Cameron Highlands. Taste sweet.

4/03/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

thanks j, haven't met anyone who isn't messy when eating buttered corn on the cob!

hahha! foodcrazee, glad to know I'm not the only type-writer eater!

hi imlstory, welcome! Must say I've yet to try raw corn, does it taste very raw?

4/03/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous slurp! said...

Lovely photos as usual!

messy eater as well, dribbles down the chin, arms, floor hehehe ...
usually I do round-the-cob way, top-down approach, very systematic hahaha

4/03/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

'round the cob, top-down' - hmmm? trying to figure out how this is done, sounds interesting!

4/04/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous slurp! said...

hahaha ... just teasing ler. nowadays, usually i cut into smaller chunk, easier to eat and less messy

4/04/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger babe_kl said...

wow so mind blowing. how you managed to make such simple corn into so many fabulous stuff!!! cool.

4/06/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

thanks babe for your kind words tho' errr...the corn stuff here isn't all that difficult to make and I'm sure you've got an even better array of corn-dishes than what I've shown :)

4/07/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous piccola said...

hi~ to make the corn like the one in the last picture. I mix butter with finely chopped chilli and coriander leaves and ground black pepper and rub the butter on the corn? or i have to make a jar of butter that way?

Besides coriander, what alternatives can i add? Basils?

Appologies for so many questions. Just wanted to learn more of culinery skills hehe. :)

4/13/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi piccola, you're right - just mix softened butter together with the chopped chilli, coriander, black pepper and salt, if using unsalted butter (like shown in the pic above - I use pestle and mortar, very easy). Then scoop up and if you wish, pat onto grease-proof wax paper and roll into a slab - leave in fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Slice pats of butter as you wish for use.

Any kind of fragrant herb can also be used, basil, Italian parsley etc. You can also use cayenne powder or dried chilli flakes.. just experiment and have fun!

4/13/2006 11:05:00 PM  
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