It’s hard to beat fresh corn in the summer…so sweet and tender, and here for such a short while. Local roadside stands (here on the east coast) won’t be up and running for at least a month, so for the time being, I will be headed to the grocery store, where it is plentiful and on sale in most places. Look for corn that passes the freshness test: bright green husks that fit tightly around the ear of corn, neat rows of kernels that are slightly rounded in shape. If the kernels are flat and compact, or are shriveled, the corn will most likely be starchy. The silks should be dry/slightly sticky and light in color. Corn needs to be refrigerated after picking to preserve freshness, so if you are buying it from a roadside stand, make sure it is not hot from sitting in the sun. As soon as corn is picked the sugar begins to transform into starch, so its best to eat the corn the day you purchase it. The older the corn gets, the more mealy it will become.
I love boiled corn with butter and salt… its a summer time classic, one I looked forward to enjoying every August growing up. I could skip the rest of my dinner and just eat ear after ear of fresh corn; which thinking back, I think I actually did!
Over the years I have found new and interesting ways to prepare corn and incorporate it into my menus. Here’s a recipe I think you will really like…I have taken the corn kernels off of the cob and combined them with a little zip from poblano peppers, and finished them with a cream and sharp cheddar sauce. The chile/herb marinated chicken breasts are grilled and sliced, then placed atop the sauce. I featured this entree in a cooking class a few years back, and still get emails from people looking for the recipe when corn is in season. I’m happy to know my recipes are out there and put to work. I hope you will enjoy this one as much as we do!
And if you are planning to boil some corn for dinner, remember not to add salt to the water when it boils…this will make the corn tough. Save the salt for the table.
Grilled Chicken with Corn and Poblano Chile Sauce
¾ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch cilantro
½ bunch Italian parsley
5 green onions, chopped
2 Serrano chiles, chopped, with seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 ears fresh corn, husked, and kernels removed from cob
½ cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 Poblano chile, seeded and diced
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For Marinade: Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Transfer marinade to a large zip-lock bag and add chicken breasts. Marinate in the refrigerator 8-24 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for 6-7 minutes per side, turning often. Transfer grilled chicken to platter and let sit 10 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick slices.
While the chicken is resting, prepare the sauce: Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and poblano chile peppers and sauté 3-5 minutes. Add corn kernels and water and simmer 1 minute longer. Add the cream and simmer 1 minute longer. Gradually add the cheese and stir until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the sauce onto the serving plates and place the chicken on top of the sauce.