Recipes @ Corn off the Cob

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Corn off the Cob

I've always tried to find ways to prolong summer for just a few weeks longer. In the past, I've saved fresh herbs by preserving them in layers of salt. I once froze gallon freezer bags full of chopped bell peppers from the garden. But one fresh summer vegetable I must have at Thanksgiving is fresh summmer corn. If you'd like to freeze some, here's how to do it.

Removing fresh corn from the cob is easily done with a sharp knife and an oversize bowl to catch the kernels. First, stand the corn cob straight up in the bowl and hold it by its base. Next, cut away from you, removing three or four rows of kernels at a time. Rotate the cob until all of the kernels are removed. Don't forget to save the sweet milk from the cob. To extract the milk, simply run the dull side of your knife up and down against the cob to scrape the liquid into the bowl.

Once you've removed the kernels, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl full of crushed ice and water and insert a mesh strainer into the bowl. Place the corn kernels into the boiling water and blanch the kernels for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the corn turns a bright color. Immediately remove the kernels from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer in the bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process. Next, dump out the kernels onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet and allow the kernels to air dry for about half an hour. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and allow the corn kernels to become frozen. Once frozen, transfer the kernels to resealable plastic bags.

By freezing the corn kernels in a single layer like this before transferring them to the freezer bags, you enable the corn kernels to freeze evenly so that they don't freeze together into a solid clump. I hope you find this tip useful in allowing you to squeeze out the essence of the season.

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