Ingredient Spotlight: Corn

There’s something very down to Earth and wholesome about corn – especially freshly picked sweet corn! When picked at it’s peak ripeness (that’s now!) and prepared shortly after picking, it’s natural sweetness is noticeably better than corn that has been stored for a day or two. As corn sits after it has been picked, it loses that sweetness as the sugars begin to turn to starch.

How do you choose the best ears out of the pile? Brown silk at the tip of the corn and green, moist husks that cling tightly to the corn mean the corn is ripe. For the best flavor, always try to purchase the day of use and don’t be afraid to ask your local farm stand when the corn was picked. If you need to store corn for more than a day, don’t shuck until you’re ready to enjoy it.

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The secret to easy, no-mess corn? Cut off stalk end of corn cob about 1-inch above the last row of kernels. Microwave the corn 2-4 minutes. Hold uncut end of cob, squeeze and shake until the corn cob comes out silk and husk free. To safely and easily remove kernels from the cob, place the stalk side down and run a sharp knife gently down the side of the corn cob.

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One of our favorite ways to use fresh corn is to sauté the kernels from 3 ears of corn in 2 tablespoons Stonewall Kitchen California Extra Virgin Olive Oil along with 1 pint of yellow and red cherry tomatoes halved and 1 clove of minced fresh garlic. Top with a dash of salt and pepper and chopped fresh basil.

For an easy to make side dish to take to your end of summer barbecue or gathering, try our Bean Salad with Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce. We love the freshness that the corn adds!

Bean Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • 6 scallions, diced small
  • 1 cup fresh, whole kernel corn
  • 2 teaspoons green chilies, fresh or canned, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bottle Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce
  • Fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine beans, peppers, scallions, corn, chilies, garlic and cumin. Mix well.
  2. Add ½ to ¾ cup Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend for at least on hour. Overnight is ideal.
  4. Before serving, toss with additional Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.

 

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