Corn on the Cob
Classic Corn on the Cob coated in Butter, Salt and Pepper. There is just so many ways this vegetable can be served and remember to save the Cob, Husk and Water if boiling for Stocks. Use up all parts of the Corn leaving nothing to waste.
Whole or Cut in half
I prefer to Trim the Ends off and Cut or Snap in Half for the following reasons.
- Easier management as they are not as bulky both in the Pot and in the bowl while tossing with butter. It also makes it easier eating.
- Maybe the Cook. Twice the amount of Cob is exposed. Does this help with the Cook and releasing more flavor. I don’t know, maybe it’s insignificant, but I like to think so.
- Presentation, it does look quite nice. One laying down and the other or both standing up.
- Space Saver. These can be stood up on a plate to make room for other foods. It takes up half the space.
- It feels like you are getting two portions of cob. I don’t know about you but once the first bite starts I have to finish the Cob off. This way I get to finish the cob, move unto half of the meat before returning for another round of Corn.
If dressing, then you may want to leave them whole for presentation or not. I still chop the ends off for uniformity and to include in the stock.
How to Cook Corn on the Cob
Boil Corn on the Cob
Place them in boiling water, Cover and boil for 3- 5 Minutes. Uncover and remove with tongs, or scoop them out with a spider and place into a bowl with butter. Toss the Corn around with a pinch of Salt & Pepper or other Seasonings. They can also stay in the pot to keep warm while serving.
Boil or Poach Corn on the Cob
The objective is to get Crisp Plump Kernels that Pop and releases Juice, not mushy corn in which the natural pectin in the kernels breaks down or Kernels that have not swelled up.
Salting the Water is not necessary and in fact toughens the corn. It is better to add salt to season the Corn after it is cooked.
Pectin in the Corn Kernels is responsible for the kernels structure and swelling of the kernels when cooking. Interestingly, Pectin begins to break down at about 83 C/183 F, just before the boiling point of water 100 C/212 F. Which is why some people state that once the water has returned to a boil it is done and is also why boiling the Corn too long results in mushy kernels.
You could argue that you don’t want to boil Corn at all, but instead poach them. I have found that poaching is not enough heat to cause swelling of the kernels.
Therefor I think that Boiling the Corn briefly causes the cob and the kernels to approach that temp where the pectin begins to break down and the starches swell which allows the kernels to swell. This does take a little time, though. It doesn’t happen as soon as the water returns to boil. It is held there for a couple of minutes for maximum swelling.
Also, the Temp of the water drops as soon as you add the Corn, which is why I find adding the Corn and removing from the heat is not hot enough to swell the kernels. It does have to come back to a boil and held for a few minutes.
I think that adding the corn, covering and then timing 3 – 5 minutes is prime. It allows time for the water to return to a boil, even faster with the cover, and keeps the corn at the high heat just a few minutes, causing swelling but no break down. I am still experimenting with this, but to date the cook for 3–5 minutes is the method that yielded the best results.
Save the water to boil the Cobs, Trimmings, Washed Husk and make Corn Stock for a variety of dishes. If the Idea of reusing Corn on the Cob that your family has already eaten bothers you, then rinse the Cobs and optionally cook them in the oven. This will also add a roasted taste to the stock, should that be desired.
Optionally buy a couple extra Corn on the Cob where you can slice the kernels off for Creamed Corn, Corn Salsa or Chowders and use the Cob from this for the Stock.
Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Strain and reserve. Either in the fridge if you plan on using it within a day or so, or freezer to use at a later time.
Corn on the Cob Butter
Most often than not, you will want to saturate the Corn with Butter. Use Real butter as this makes a very big difference. Scoop out some butter and place into a small casserole dish or bowl, which you can add in the hot Corn. This will melt the butter, and all you have to do is toss the Corn around to soak up all the butter.
Once all the Corn is coated in butter, the leftover butter can be placed into small containers and served with the Corn for your guest to drizzle more butter on or just plate the Corn and use the excess butter drizzled over the corn.
- 1/4 C Butter
- 1/2 tsp Butter Popcorn Seasoning. More or less based on taste
- Pepper to taste – optional
Additional Seasonings can be added to the Butter to get different variations of corn on the Cob.
- Maître d’hôtel Butter which is Butter, Lemon Juice and Parsley with Salt & Pepper or any other compound Butter.
- Cajun, Creole, Old Bay Seasoned Butter.
- Garlic Butter or for the serious garlic lover Aioli or Toum.
- Butter with added Hot Sauce.
Spice the Butter up whichever way to add more flavors to your Corn on the Cob.
Corn on the Cob Dressing
Here is another way to spice up Corn on the Cob. Dress the Corn up with various Seasonings and additional ingredients.
I usually use Chop Sticks inserted into the end to handle the Corn better while coating in Sauce or Sprinkling Seasoning on.
Parmesan Corn on the Cob
Mayo, Sour Cream, Salt, Parmesan Cheese, Aleppo Chili Flakes, Ancho Powder, Chipotle Powder, and Parsley or Cilantro.
Flammin Hot Cheetos Corn Cob
Crushed Chips Like Flammin hot Cheetos (The heat is considerably less when on the corn) or Popcorn Seasoning (Butter, Sour Cream & Chives, Cheese, etc…).
The one pictured below is Mayo, Sour Cream and Crushed Flammin Hot Cheetos with Lime/Lemon Drizzled over.
Corn on the Cob
- 4 Fresh Shucked Corn
- Water to cover
- Butter to Coat the Cobs after cooking
- Salt & Pepper or Seasoning to taste after cooking
- Bring Pot of Water to a Boil. Optionally with Seasonings – no salt, and allow to boil to extract the flavors.
- Shuck the Corn and optionally trim the ends and cut or snap in half for presentation, this also makes it easier to butter in a bowl. Save the Husk and Silk for Corn Stock. When the water is at full boil add the Corn. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 – 5 minutes. Shut the heat off.
- Remove the Corn from the Pot with Tongs but save the Water to make Corn Stock later. Throw the Husk and trimming from the Corn if you trimmed it into the Pot of water along with any left over cobs from dinner.
- Add some Butter to a small casserole dish or Bowl and place the Hot Corn on top to melt the better. Turn the Corn around so that it gets completely covered with butter. Plate and Season with Salt & Pepper or other Seasonings.
- Optionally Dress the Corn. Insert chop sticks into the Corn and dress anyway you'd like.
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