There is nothing like summers sweet corn on the cob. The tables at the farmers market this weekend were loaded with all kinds of corn and great prices make you want to stock up but corns sweetness will turn to starch the longer it’s stored. There’s an old saying that you should start the water boiling for the corn before you pick it. But if you don’t have a corn field in your back yard here are a couple of tips to help maintain that sweetness.
One, don’t peel and husk your corn, leave it in its little corn jacket and store in the refrigerator. This won’t maintain it’s sweetness long but it will stay sweet for about a day.
Two, peel and husk your corn, freeze separately and when frozen wrap in plastic and pop into a freezer bag. Use within a few weeks for best results.
Three, (this is my favorite), peel a few leaves off the outer ear but leave the husk and some leaves still attached. Chop off the very top and the bottom. Here’s another tip for you-usually corn worms are only found in the top of the ear, just lop that part off, the corn is still good to eat and it means that the farmer didn’t dust the corn with insecticide (a good thing). Put the corn into the microwave and cook for 5 minutes, remove carefully it will be hot. Place in a colander in the sink and run some cool water over it. After it cools, refrigerate and it will hold it’s sweetness for a day or two.
Here’s one of my favorite hot weather dinner salads using sweet corn right off the cob!
Pomegranate vinegar can be ordered from Temecula Olive Oil Co.
Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes? I always grow too many and one of my favorite ways to make them go a little farther is to oven dry them. Much like sun dried, these concentrated gems pack a powerful punch and can be used in any dish where you’d use tomatoes. Especially nice on a cheese plate with some creamy goat cheese nearby.
To preserve them I turn them into a tomato confit and keep in my ‘pantry’ refrigerator. They can’t be water bath canned because of the oil, but they will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator, if they last that long. The refrigeration will also help to preserve the oil and keep it from going rancid quicker. Use only fresh organic herbs and make sure you wash and dry them very well, you don’t want any water going into your beautiful confit.
Photo: Chez Pim