February 7, 2011

Corn - Cooked or Killed?

Mitchell's homegrown cooked corn.  Each kernel is sensationally sweet and juicy.  Perfection on a plate!

You're probably thinking I must be feeling lazy here at "Through My Kitchen Window".  Fancy blogging about simple cooked corn.  Sometimes however, the simplest things to cook are often the hardest thing to get right. Think MasterChef last year.  Think the CWA night.  Simple scones and plain cake.  Easy right?  So why did the contestants claim it was one of their hardest challenges.  Strange isn't it?

Now take my absolutely, amazingly, brilliant neighbour Philomena.  She churns out culinary masterpieces almost every day of the week.  Can someone then please explain to me how on earth she can destroy, I mean, annihilate, - simple homegrown corn.  Totally inedible. I'm taking a moment here, because I am still in shock.  Philomena's homemade gnocchi and homemade sauce - amazing.  Nothing in the world like it.  Fabulous. The corn- overboiled, dry, shrivelled up.  Tasteless. Awful. Honestly, it would be better to have eaten it raw. 

Staggering corn
Now I have had other corn experiences like this one.  Usually it has happened in homes where there are southern Europeans.  It appears they generally overcook corn.   Rule number one; don't overcook corn.  Especially if it's young and freshly picked straight from the garden. 

I'm so thrilled with Mitchell's gardening efforts.  He has really taken to growing veggies this summer.  Given the crazy climate we have experienced, he has done a brilliant job.  The cucumbers have thrived.  The eggplant is coming.  The tomatoes are getting  hammered.  Not sure how they will go. The corn?  Glorious.  And why wouldn't it be.  His corn has been pampered and peppered with love every day.  Testing weather and testing pests have all been very, well - testing.  But he has hung in there, tended to them regularly and we have all benefitted from his hard work and wonderful harvest. 

The last thing in the world I want to do then, is to 'stuff  up' cooking his labour of love.  I can say with complete confidence, "our method" is tried and tested and terrific.  Every time.  Sometimes, simple corn ain't so simple.

Cooked Corn

Take a deep saucepan or pot.  Remove the husks from the corn and any remaining "hairy" bits still attached to the corn.  Cooking won't remove them, so you really need to get them off before cooking.

Place the cobs inside the saucepan.  Make sure they are lying flat.  Put in just enough tap water to cover the cobs.  Bring to boil.  Do not salt the water!  Do not add oil or butter!  As soon as the water comes to the boil, take off the heat immediately.  If the corn is absolutely young and fresh, drain immediately.  If the corn is a bit older, allow to sit in the hot water for an extra couple of minutes. No more!  Drain. That's it.

If not consuming right away, place the lid back on the pot at an angle.  This allows the corn to stay heated without continuing to "steam".  I use a pasta pot which has a lid containing many holes. I find it's the perfect utensil in which to cook my corn.  It can stay that way perfectly till the rest of the dinner is complete. If you see any 'wrinkling or shrivelling' of the kernels, I'm afraid you've cooked your corn for too long.  Or, perhaps the cobs were too old to begin with.  Either way; Kaput.

There was a time when I salted and generously buttered my corn.  My Hubby and the girls still do.  Mitch and I however, enjoy it straight from the pot.  As is.  No butter.  No salt.  Why tamper with perfection. 

Thanks Mitch.  Take a bow.


  1. I LOVE boiled or steamed corn. Thats the way we eat it here in Malaysia too. ALways steamed or boiled. If its fresh n properly cooked the way you described it is indeed beautifully sweet, juicy and tender.

    O Mariana..That photo is to die for!!!I could eat through the screen right now :PP is the corn from your garden? they look absolutely amazing!


  2. Yes Zurin. It most certainly is from the garden. Freshly picked, husks removed and cooked. All in about ten minutes - from the plant to the plate. Isn't it wonderful?

    Wow. You guys sound like you enjoy it exactly the same way as we do. Too many people from the west simply must have their butter and salt though. I can't understand why. If you have a superior product to begin with, there is no need to add anything. I can see that you fully understand. Thanks dear.
    Mariana xxx

  3. Perfection! I'd love a cob or two. I've even enjoyed raw corn, but your quick cook seems just right. I can't wait for our corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Enjoy.

  4. Yes Denise; we've eaten raw corn too. When it's really young, straight from the stalk - yummo! Divine.