boil

The Best Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

by Anne Maxfield on July 16, 2018

Accidental Locavore Corn on the CobCorn has to be one of the great foods of summer.

There’s nothing like a great ear of corn, with a smear of butter and a dash of salt.

But how do you cook it?

Used to be you just shucked it* and tossed it in a pot of boiling water, but now we have options.

Here are some of the ways I do corn:

  1. The easiest and quickest is the microwave. Cut the stem end of the corn close to the cob, peel off the outer layer or two of the husk, and microwave for 1-2 minutes an ear, depending on the size and number of ears and the strength of your microwave. To see if it’s cooked, peel back a little of the husk. It should have lost its opaque luster and the kernels should be bright and almost shiny.
  2. My favorite way to cook it? Simply to toss it on the grill, husk and all. We often just put it on when the grill is heating up and let it roast over on a corner, while grilling the rest of the meal. You’ll want to turn it occasionally, but not too often, as it’s better when it gets a little browned in spots.
  3. Recently, there were a lot of comments on Facebook about cooking it sous-vide. This method is not quick, or easy (and requires special equipment), but people were raving about how good it was, so I tried it. Not impressed, but the corn was the very first local corn so it may have been the culprit. If you want to try it, husk the corn, seal it in a bag with a pat of butter, and sous-vide it at 183° for 30 minutes. I might give it another shot later in the season, but for now it’s the grill or microwave.Accidental Locavore Corn for Sous Vide
  4. Shuck and toss in a pot of boiling water (good for a crowd, but not my favorite method), cook for 10 minutes and serve.
  5. For any of these methods, if you really want to show off, take a blow torch to the corn after it’s cooked and shucked. This is a trick I learned from my friend Kerry at Cafe Miranda. It browns the kernels, making them taste like popcorn, and will either scare or impress all of your guests!

What’s your favorite way to cook corn?

Accidental Locavore Corn*Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to shuck corn after it’s cooked? This is a not-so-subtle nudge to those who insist on shucking it before buying it, a habit I hate! Pick some good-looking ears, put them in a bag (silk ends first, so you don’t rip the bag), take them home and then you’ll have options and fresher corn when you decide to use it.

 

 

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A Crawfish Boil at Gaskins

by Anne Maxfield on May 23, 2016

Accidental Locavore Crawfish SpreadThere are always restaurants you want to try and for whatever reasons never seem to get to. Such is the case with Gaskins, a local (if a 40 minute drive counts as local) place that opened about a year ago. It’s owned and run by Sarah and Nick, two refugees from some major Manhattan eateries. They’ve settled in Germantown and opened a casual “gathering place” featuring some great-sounding dishes, mostly sourced from local farms.

Accidental Locavore Crawfish BoilThe Accidental Locavore says “great-sounding dishes” because the evening I was there was for the second annual Spring Social and Crawfish Boil put on by the Hudson River Exchange, a local arts group, which featured only one item on the regular menu (more about that one thing later). Instead, all the tables in the place were laid out end-to-end and covered with kraft paper. After drinks (including a mango-mint daiquiri that will make you rethink daiquiris and find a designated driver) they poured 100 pounds of crawfish along with potatoes, smoked kielbasa, ramps, scallions and fiddleheads along the length of the table.

Accidental Locavore Eating CrawfishSarah gave us a quick demo on how to properly eat the crawfish and suggested that there was pride to be taken in having the biggest pile of empty shells, so we all eagerly set to work. It’s been a long time since I’ve had crawfish and these were delicious! If you’re not familiar with them, they look and taste like little lobsters, but are probably much healthier as melted butter does not have to be involved.

Accidental Locavore Crawfish AfterFiddleheads (the tiny beginnings of ferns) are another spring treat I hadn’t had in ages. They were so good that the next time I come across them, I’m taking advantage of their short season! The kielbasa, which somehow wasn’t at my end of the table, was well worth the stroll to the other end. In other words, everything was great!

Accidental Locavore Gaskins Ice CreamIf you didn’t save room for dessert—your loss! That’s the one thing that we had that is a menu item and totally worth saving some space for (trust me, you won’t want to share). Nick’s chocolate ice cream is one of the great ones! Creamy and richly chocolate it’s almost worth going to Gaskins just for that! The other ice cream, a sweet cream one, was almost as good—buttery and silky smooth, but for me, the chocolate was all I needed.

Now that I’ve seen what a fun place Gaskins is and how terrific the food for a crowd was (never an easy task), I’m excited to go back and try their menu items. And you know what I’m having for dessert…

 

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