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Creamed Corn with Bacon

What’s in Season: Best Corn Recipes

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corn recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

It’s high corn season! And, this summer vegetable is so versatile we’re having it nearly every meal. From sides and appetizers to entrées and desserts, it can be a part of a sweet or savory dish. To  take advantage of summer’s sweet corn while at its peak, I’ve rounded up all of my favorite recipes in one place. Check out these top ten delicious recipes.

Grilled Corn Tabbouleh

corn recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

How to Choose Sweet Corn

So, you have all these recipes, but aren’t certain how how to pick the best ears? Picking the best ears of corn at a grocery store or farmer’s stand is easier than you’d think.  

1. Husk

The outer husk should bright green and moist. Don’t choose any husks that are starting to yellow or dry out. Check the husk for small brown holes, which mean worms or insects and should be avoided. Lastly, take a peek at the bottom of the stalk where the ear was broken off the plant in the field. If this area is very dry and brown, it’s old and not as fresh.

2. Tassel

My grandfather, whom I called Dede, always preferred to plant his patch in the fruitful black soil at the river’s edge. He taught me that when corn is ripe and ready to be picked, the silk at the top of the ear should be dark brown, almost black. Look for silky tassels that are still moist and not dried out. Hey — Did you know that each and every strand of silky tassel corresponds to a kernel?!

3. Give it a Squeeze

Feel through the husk and the kernels should be swollen and distinct. Peel back just the tip of the husk and make sure the tips are filled out. To store, refrigerate ears, tightly wrapped, still in its husks. Try to keep it away from strong scented foods and liquids as it will absorb odors quite readily.

4. Aw, Shucks – Corn in the Microwave 

We’ve learned a new method for shucking and cooking whole ears. Essentially you microwave the ear in the husk for a few minutes. Then, remove it from the microwave and let it steam for about 30 seconds. Next, chop the stalk end (not the silk end) off. Using a kitchen towel, starting at the silk end, push the cob out of the chopped stalk end. It comes out clean and perfectly silk free. Pretty handy!

Corn Ice Cream

I’m wrapping up my recipe collection with a recipe for ice cream. You won’t believe how good it is. Thanks for reading and make sure to let me know if you cook any of the recipes featured here.

Bon Appétit Y’all!
Virginia Willis

PS Want to learn more about dried and ground corn? Check out my post on Cornmeal and Grits.

Butter Sugar Corn Ice Cream

This rich and creamy ice cream is pure indulgence. They call it “butter-sugar” because it’s multicolor yellow and white. Any sweet corn may be substituted.
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh sweet corn shucked, kernels cut off, cobs reserved
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks

Instructions

  • Roast the corn kernels in a dry cast iron skillet until browned in spots, 4-5 minutes. Place the roasted kernels in a large heavy saucepan. Break cobs in half and add to pan with milk and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn off heat. Remove the cobs and discard. Either using a stick blender to puree until smooth or transfer the corn-milk mixture to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth then return to the large saucepan.
  • Bring mixture back to a just a simmer, then remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Add a cup of the hot corn mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from curdling. Add yolk mixture to the saucepan, whisking constantly. Continue whisking over medium-low heat until the custard thickens enough to coat a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Pass custard through a sieve pressing down hard on the solids. Discard solids. Cool custard completely over an ice bath or refrigerate until cool. Churn the ice cream according to the machine instructions. Enjoy!

If you are interested in hosting me for an event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to jona@virginiawillis.com and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 1 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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