7 Amazing Ways to Cook Corn Right Now

Summer is a great time for cooking –lots of fresh veggies, many bbq’s to attend, corndogs at baseball games, the list is endless. But let’s face it, we can sometimes get into a grill-centric rut when it comes to warm weather cooking. Take corn, for instance. You know you don’t have to eat it plain on the cob next to your hamburger, right? Check out these seven recipes and discover a few of the delicious, and sometimes surprising, dishes you can make with this tried and true staple.

Oh and PS: all the recipes below are vegetarian friendly. But don’t worry, meat lovers, you can enjoy them all too.

Corn Salad

This recipe is crisp, light, and a super yummy addition to any meal. Plus, it’s crazy easy to make, which makes it perfect for a lazy summer day.

photo credit: harvestfare.wordpress.com

photo credit: harvestfare.wordpress.com

Ingredients

  • 7 or 8 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced

Steps

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for about 3 minutes.
  2. Allow corn to cool, then cut the kernels off the cob.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Corn Creme Brulee

Just in case you want to get all fancy with your corn, we thought we’d throw in this little ramekin of deliciousness. And though creme brulee might sound difficult, it’s easier to make than you might think.

photo credit: frombraziltoyou.org

photo credit: frombraziltoyou.org

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra sugar for dusting
  • Berries or mint leaves for topping (optional)

Steps

  1. Preheat over to 300°F
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the corn in butter until cooked through.
  3. Add the cream and milk, cook over medium heat. When it reaches a boil, turn off the heat, and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Blend mixture until smooth.
  5. In a large boil, whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar and vanilla.
  6. Slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the bowl, whisking continously.
  7. Strain entire mixture into a pitcher.
  8. Pour the mixture into 6-8 ovenproof ramekins.
  9. Place ramekins, uncovered, in a baking pan. Then add 1 inch of boiling water to the pan.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the center is set but still jiggly.
  11. Remove ramekins from baking pan and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  12. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  13. Sprinkle the custards with sugar.
  14. Heat with creme brulee torch until caramelized. OR place ramekins on  a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until sugar is melted and browned.
  15. Serve immediately.

Chilled Corn Soup

Who says you can’t eat soup in the summertime? Try this chilled corn soup for a new twist on lunch. And best of all, it’s vegan –welcome news to those meatless folks out there who are sick of having nothing to eat at family bbq’s (no, grandma, a turkey burger isn’t vegetarian…)

photo credit: icancookthat.org

photo credit: icancookthat.org

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup radishes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Steps

  1. Cut kernels off the ears of corn until you have 6 cups.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then reduce heat to medium low and cover.
  3. Cook for 8 minutes, or until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add corn kernels, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover and cook 4 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
  6. Remove from heat, and discard thyme.
  7. Blend until smooth.
  8. Strain corn mixture into a large bowl. Discard solid pieces.
  9. Chill at least 4 hours.
  10. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl, top each 1 cup bowl of soup with 2 tablespoons of avocado mixture.

Corn Salsa

Looking to spice up that same-old salsa routine? Or, if you’re like me, are you wishing you could replicate that amazing stuff they put on your burrito bowls at Chipotle? Well, either way, corn salsa is here to answer all you salsa needs.

photo credit: gfmadefriendly.com

photo credit: gfmadefriendly.com

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced with seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seed and minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Steps

  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
  • Remove ears from water and cut the kernels of the cobs.
  • Mix the corn with remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Corn is a pretty darn awesome food (why else would we be writing an entire article about it). But you know what makes awesome foods even awesomer? Anyone? …The answer is cheese. If you’ve only ever eaten your corn on the cob with a bit of butter and salt, then your mouth is in for a treat. Next time you’re grilling, try making some Mexican sweet corn, also known as elote. You’ll never want to eat boring corn ever again.

photo credit: caramelpotatoes.com

photo credit: caramelpotatoes.com

Ingredients

Steps

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill ears of corn for 7-10 minutes, until lightly charred.
  3. In a small bowl, combing the garlic powder with the Mexcian crema (or mayonnaise)
  4. Brush a thin coating of garlic Mexican crema (or mayonnaise) on the corn.
  5. Roll corn in the cotija cheese, sprinkle with cilantro and chili powder.
  6. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over each ear of corn.

Corn Cobbler

Nothing like a sweet treat on a warm evening. Try this blueberry corn cobbler for a tasty recipe that’s hard to mess up. Plus, you can feel healthy because there’s technically fruits and vegetables in your dessert. That makes it a health food, right?

photo credit: pintrest.com

photo credit: pintrest.com

Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal, preferably medium or coarse-ground
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut up
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels

Steps

  1. Preheat over to 375°F.
  2. Combine the blueberries (thawed, if frozen), sugar, flour, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, make the topping: combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add butter, mix with pastry blender or your fingertips until the butter chunks are the size of blueberries.
  5. Mix in corn.
  6. Stir in milk until dough forms.
  7. Place the blueberry mixture into a 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
  8. Spoon the topping over the berries to cover it.
  9. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean.
  10. Serve warm, maybe with ice cream!

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Speaking of ice cream, why not make some of that with corn too.Yes, corn ice cream is a thing. And yes, it is delicious. Combine it with the above blueberry cobbler to create a perfect end to your corn feast of corn soup, elote, and corn salsa!

photo credit: sweetmiscellany.blogspot.com

photo credit: sweetmiscellany.blogspot.com

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and cooked
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Steps

  1. Slice the kernels off the corn cobs and place in a large saucepan. Break the cobs into pieces and add them to the pan as well.
  2. Add the milk, 1 cup of cream, and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boiling, stirring, then turn off heat.
  3. Allow mixture to infuse for 1 hour.
  4. Remove the cobs pieces. Blend the remaining mixture.
  5. Strain mixture through a seive. Discard the corn pulp.
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until smooth.
  7. Add 1 cup of hot cream to the yolks, stirring constantly.
  8. Add the yolk mixture to the saucepan containing the corn mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes, until mixture thickens into a custard consistency. It should be able to coat the back of a spoon.
  9. Push the custard through a sieve into a bowl, discarding any solids.
  10. Let cool, then cover and chill for 4-5 hours, or overnight.
  11. Place mixture into an ice cream maker, and follow the instructions for your machine.

Phew! That’s a whole lot of corn. But so much better than the same old “on-the-cob” way of eating it, right? Do you have any fun recipes using corn? Tell us about them in the comments below!

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Lauren is a New York based actor/singer/writer. She is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University as well as the College of the Holy Cross. She's a fan of beer, pasta, and academic establishments with unnecessarily long titles. Find her on stage, or online-- she's there often.