- 4 ears fresh sweet corn, husks and silk removed
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 c. diced onions
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 8 oz. Andouille sausage, cooked, drained, and diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 T. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 T. butter
- Salt and pepper
Using a sharp knife and cutting board, cut corn kernels from the cobs. Reserve the cobs. Set corn aside.
Warm olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeño peppers; sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for another minute. Add corn kernels, cobs, vegetable stock, and Andouille sausage. Simmer for 20-30 minutes on low heat.
Remove from heat. Use tongs to remove the cobs from the pan. When cool enough to handle, scrape the cobs with the back of a chef’s knife collecting the corn milk into a bowl. Add the corn milk, fresh thyme, tomatoes, and butter to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Learn More About Corn
The mere mention of corn this time of year makes us think of sweet corn, the lovely kernels we happily eat directly from the cob. Lest we forget, there are five general kinds of corn: popcorn, flint, dent, flour, and sweet corn. Most corn is grown to maturity and dried for use as a grain. Only sweet corn is eaten fresh as a vegetable.
Just 60 years ago, sweet corn wasn’t all that sweet. You may remember a time when you were advised to put the pot of water on to boil before harvesting the corn. Good advice considering the sugars started to convert to starch immediately after being pulled from the stalk. The first super-sweet corn with stable sugars came to market in 1961. Over the years plant breeders have worked on other traits to give us corn that is tender and creamy with a longer shelf life.
These days you can buy pretty good sweet corn at the supermarket. It’s even better direct from the farmer. A certain amount of trust goes into selecting sweet corn. It’s okay to feel through the husks to be sure the kernels are plump. But pulling back the husks is a strict no-no. Loosening the husks allows the corn to dry out. If you don’t buy the ears you disturbed, no one else will either.
Leave the husks undisturbed and your corn will keep in the fridge for several days. When you’re ready to cook it, remove the husks and silks and trim the ends. Drop the corn in boiling water, let the water return to a boil, and turn off the heat. Here's a microwave method you may want to try.
Grilling corn takes a little more prep time. Soak shucked corn in salt water (½ cup salt in 4 quarts of water) for ½ hour up to 8 hours. Grill over a hot fire for 10 to 15 minutes, turning every few minutes.
No matter how you cook your corn-on-the-cob, serve with butter, salt and pepper. A taste of summer not to be missed!
Za’atar enhances Chef’s recipe 3 times: 1) toasted with the vegetables to bring out its deep notes 2) added as the herbal ingredient in the finishing vinaigrette 3) a light dusting right before serving to preserve its lighter, more delicate flavors.