Corn: It makes a person a bit obsessive. Some Midwesterners famously scoff at East Coast corn, saying it’s not sweet enough. Some folks run straight home from the pick-your-own cornfield, with a pot of boiling water at the ready, lest too much of the sugar converts into starch. (Yes, that happens when corn is picked, but nowadays, most corn is bred to slow the conversion down and leave you with a sweeter ear.)
Here are the corn recipes we’re making with this season’s abundant harvest right now.
Chef’s Collective member and culinary superstar Melissa King is responsible for this stunning coconut corn soup. It’s simple, relying upon pantry staples like coconut milk and go-to soup standbys like garlic and fresh ginger. It requires four to six ears of corn, so it’s a great way to use up a ton at once. The garnish recalls the Mexican street corn the chef grew up eating.
Sometimes you’ve done all the work with all the corn, shucking it and getting it off the cob, only to realize that you have a cup or two more than your recipe needs. Enter: tomato and corn pizza. Just the thing to make something out of the knobs and bits you have left from the farmer’s market, it conjoins two summer standbys (hi, cherry tomatoes!) to delicious effect.
Voluptuous grilled peaches and sautéed sweet corn commingle with fresh basil for this delightful summer succotash. It’s easy, it packs a wallop of fresh seasonal produce thanks to green beans and cherry tomatoes, and boy, is it easy on the eyes.
The best corn risotto features a ton of corn. This risotto with fresh corn and basil oil delivers, with a full two to three cups. Leeks sautéed in butter form the base of the risotto, and if it’s been a minute since you’ve sautéed a leek in butter, well, you’ll be happy when you remember how good it tastes (and smells!) A simple, bright basil olive oil drizzles over the whole plate.
Maybe you’re already a Mexican grilled corn fan. Great! Oaxacan grilled corn takes the flavors you know and love already and tweaks them just slightly. Ancho chile powder replaces the more traditional cayenne, lending its signature smokiness. It’s absolutely wonderful to eat this, using the husk as a handle.
There are cool and rainy summer and autumn nights, and that’s when you might want to cook up a batch of poblano chile soup with corn and mushrooms. They’re the warming, comforting ingredients you covet without realizing it. Chanterelles are among the butteriest mushrooms, and make an excellent foil for corn and velvety poblano peppers.
Those same cool nights, maybe when the sun is going down over the lake, are the nights for a corn and chili strata. Often eaten at breakfast, it’s just as tasty at brunch, lunch, or suppertime. This strata boasts a Mexican cavalcade of flavors, including poblanos, chorizo, corn, eggs, hot sauce and cheddar. (It’s almost reminiscent of chilaquiles, minus the tortillas!)
Corn and bacon are BFFs, and we often reach for the Instant Pot in the summertime because it helps keep our kitchens cool. That’s why this Instant Pot corn and zucchini chowder is a double winner for us. It’s a hearty (but not too-hearty) chowder boasting all the stuff you can’t get off your kitchen counter fast enough this time of year. Think: zucchini, green onions and corn. It’s got potatoes, so it’s filling, but it’s also got cream and thyme, for luxe touches.
There’s nothing fancy in this elegant-looking corn and Gruyère soufflé. The French cheese is the only thing you might not have handy, and it’s easy enough to pop in your grocery cart the next time you think of it. The rest is all stuff you likely have: whole milk; eggs; butter; shallot; Parm. And of course that sweet corn. Soufflés are surprisingly easy to execute, and they can turn a tough morning around.
OK, you want a riff on that Instant Pot soup above. You want the bacon. You don’t have an IP. No problem. Sweet corn soup is there for you, and just requires a food processor for a silky-smooth base. Is it wild that we love this soup for breakfast, too? It’s summer. Break all the rules.