Sweet Corn! We hope for it to be knee high by the 4th of July, but it’s now tall and tasseled and ripe for the picking and enjoying, be it steamed, grilled, roasted or raw. There is no bad way to eat fresh picked sweet corn. There is no such thing as too much sweet corn. There is only sadness when sweet corn season ends. Well, I have found a way to enjoy the late summer taste of sweet corn all year round, and you can too.
Fresh sweet corn is very easy to freeze, and this is the time of year when I buy in bulk to assure my winter supply. Just shuck the corn, remove the silk, and scrape the kernels off the cob using a sharp knife. Put the kernels (along with any “milk”) into the freezer container of your choice – I like to use 1 quart sized freezer bags, and I put the kernels from 2 ears in each bag. Then just pop the containers into the freezer, and you are done! When the dark winter hits, you can use the frozen corn in any recipe that calls for corn – and it almost as good as fresh summer corn when simply steamed and served with some butter, salt and pepper. It is like summer in a bowl for sure!
One of my favorite and most surprising recipes for fresh or frozen sweet corn is Sweet Corn and Herbes De Provence Risotto, a recipe from chef Cat Cora that I found on the Food Network website. There is something very soothing about the process of making risotto, even for a marginal cook such as myself. Anyone can stir a pot, after all! It can be made using either the chicken broth as in the recipe, or you can use vegetable stock or even plain water if you prefer. It requires a handful of ingredients that are easy to keep on hand (or substitute with local versions–a dry NY white wine, a hard sheep’s milk cheese from one of our awesome farmers) and is delicious with either fresh or frozen corn. This dish is particularly wonderful with a side of a lightly steamed, bitter greens like Swiss chard, spinach, or beet greens, which really compliment the sweet “pop” of the corn and the flowery notes of the Herbes de Provence. Leftovers also freeze well!
For many more tips and ideas for freezing your produce, see our earlier post on this very topic.