Sweet corn is here! A true star of your local farmers market is fresh sweet corn. Picked just a day or two before the market, the ears are fresh, crunchy and sweet… just perfection. Yellow, white, and bicolor varieties are available. Try them all and decide which is your favorite. Here are some answers to some common questions about selecting and preparing the freshest corn.
How do you pick a good ear of corn without peeking?
Did you know you can pick a great ear of corn without peeling back the husk? Look for corn with tassels that are brown and sticky to the touch. If the tassels are black or dry, the corn is old. Feel each ear through the husk, without peeling it, to check for even plump kernels. How do you avoid bugs? Look for teensy brown holes in the husk, especially towards the top. Those are wormholes, and, naturally, worms are best avoided.
What is the easiest way to shuck (peel) an ear of corn?
Try out this technique the next time you need to shuck corn – this is much easier than peeling off the husk. Cut off the stalk of each ear about one inch above the last row of kernels and microwave for two to four minutes. Holding the uncut end, shake and squeeze the husk until the corn slides out. The microwave creates just enough steam to allow the kernels to separate from both the husk and the silk.
How do you grill corn?
The traditional way to cook corn is to boil it on the stove top. For a change of pace, move the cooking to your grill. Here are two different techniques to try. (1) Grilling corn in the husk will steam it and give you a more mild flavor. Carefully peel back the husk, keeping the leaves attached to the base, remove the silks by hand, then re-cover the cob with the husks. Soak the ears, with husks on, in a pot of water (or in the kitchen sink) for 30 minutes or so. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. (2) For a deeper, smokier flavor, grill the corn directly on the grill without the husks. Spray each peeled husk with a bit of olive oil. Place directly over medium heat. Rotate when dark spots appear and kernels deepen in color (usually about 2 to 3 minutes) until ears are uniformly cooked (usually 10 to 12 minutes). The ear will be speckled with char spots.
For more information on the Park Ridge Farmers Market visit www.parkridgefarmersmarket.com. Also follow us on Facebook (Park Ridge Farmers Market), Instagram (@parkridgefarmersmarket) and Twitter (@prfmkt).