We're at the tail end of sweet corn season, so get in as much fresh corn goodness as you can. It's a whole grain, after all. But those silks and husks can be a mess to deal with, right? Not if you use this cooking method, perhaps the easiest way to cook corn I've ever tried. Simply place two unshucked ears in the microwave—seriously, don't prep them in any way. Microwave at HIGH for 7 to 8 minutes. Let the corn cool slightly, and then remove husks and silks; they come right off cleanly and effortlessly. You can also try this for a showier reveal: Cut off the fatter base end of the corn. Hold the cob by the top, where the silks come out, and give it a squeeze. The pristine cob will slide out cleanly. Brush with a little melted butter, and you're good to go.
How to Cut Corn Off the Cob (Without Making a Mess)
Take advantage of one of the summer&rsquos most popular vegetables by learning how to cut corn off the cob.
Cutting corn off the cob after you’ve brought it home fresh from the market yields an amazingly sweet flavor that purchased frozen or canned corn can&apost deliver. Sweet corn season runs roughly from May through September, depending on where you live, so stock-up once you start seeing them at your market. Buying local is ideal with sweet corn because of its short shelf life. Choose ears with plump, milky kernels that run all the way to the tip in tightly packed rows. As soon as the ears are picked, the sugars start converting to starch, reducing the corn&aposs natural sweetness. Cook or blanch and freeze corn the day it is picked or refrigerate up to 1 day. Here are our easy steps to get corn off the cob and ready for eating.
Cutthroat Patio: What to Do When Your Grill Sabotages You
1) Getting lit: In an ideal world, you'd have a chimney starter (our go-to way of getting coals lit when we’re grilling) — but if you don't, arrange the coals in a pyramid around a few crumpled sheets of newspaper, use a long match to light the newspaper, and then wait for the coals to turn white. Lighter fluid (and match-light charcoal, which is charcoal that has lighter fluid added) tends to add a harsh chemical taste to the food you’re grilling, and it's not our favorite.
2) Stuck food: Once your grill's hot, lightly saturate a paper towel with oil and, using tongs, swipe it gently over the surface of the grates. Also, food will stick less to a clean grill, and grills are easiest to clean when they're hot, so brush your grill down well once you're done cooking.
3) Uneven cooking: Are you ending up with meat that's scorched through on the outside and raw on the inside? Build yourself a two-zone fire, either by banking charcoal more on one side than the other or by turning one side's burners on and the other's off — now you've got somewhere to sear and somewhere to roast, so everything ends up perfect.
4) Flaring up: Flare-ups are a pretty common side effect of cooking anything juicy. If the food is small and not touching the meat, just keep an eye on it, and know your cook time may be a little shorter than anticipated if it's big, either move the food to the cooler zone of your grill (if you have one) or remove the food and cover the grill with its lid until the flare-up dies down. Some cooks like water spray bottles to tame flare-ups, but we've found that depriving flames of oxygen is generally a more-reliable and less-splattery way to go.
5) Overcooking: Just as with any other cooking method, remember that food will need to rest after it comes off the heat, and that its internal temperature will rise while that happens. Pull meats off the grill about 5 degrees below (or a few minutes before) where you'd like them to end up, and they'll do the rest on their own.
Kneaded vs No Knead Dinner Rolls
In the interest of being completely open and honest, here are the differences that I notice between kneaded dinner rolls and these No Knead Dinner Rolls:
The kneaded rolls stay a wee bit more moist for longer. ie. they are slightly better the next day compared to the No Knead ones. But actually, homemade bread, muffins etc, being preservative free that they are, are always best consumed fresh so I don’t see this as a major disadvantage. Neither the kneaded nor No Knead rolls are great the next day. They lose their moisture and both need to be warmed up before serving to make them moist again. It is just that with the kneaded ones you could possibly get away with not warming up (but they aren’t great), whereas the No Knead ones definitely need warming up
Kneaded rolls rise a wee bit more. Not noticeable for normal people, and you’d never say the No Knead ones aren’t soft and fluffy. They are, they really are. It’s just that the kneaded ones rise a touch more with the same amount of yeast.
I’m so convinced of the merits of no-knead breads however, that I have since posted No-knead Artisan Bread and Focaccia – both spectacular loaves in their own right that don’t require single minute of kneading!
Step 3: Prep Your Corn
Select fresh corn in the husk. The freshest corn on the cob is always the corn that&aposs tastiest! Fresh corn silks are still pretty intact on the top and not super limp. Shuck all the corn and rinse thoroughly. For a great idea on how to get all those silks off, see the video below.
Butter Makes it Better
Corn is so delicious with just a little plain butter. If you would like to mix it up this summer, you can also try seasoned butter. This recipe for Spicy Chipotle Honey Butter by cookbook author Marie Simmons, which appeared in Real Food, can jazz up corn with a sweet and savory kick. You can also slather the versatile seasoned butter on warm corn bread or add a dollop to a bowl of steaming black-bean soup, says Simmons. Leftover butter—if there is any—will keep wrapped and refrigerated at least a week.
Spicy Chipotle Honey Butter
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup full-flavored honey such as mesquite, wildflower or buckwheat
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped, or more to taste
2 teaspoons canned adobo sauce
½ teaspoon coarse salt
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mash together with a fork until well blended. To increase heat, add more chopped chipotle 1 teaspoon at a time to taste.
Looking for More Ways to Enjoy Corn?
Try these two variations on corn fritters:
Sweet Corn Fritters with Roasted Pepper Romesco Sauce
With a cornmeal batter and a handful of fresh basil, these fritters are heady with the flavors of summer.
Arepas (Corn Fritters)
Fritters add a crisp bite to your next get-together
How to Blanch Vegetables to Add to All Kinds of Recipes
Knowing how to blanch vegetables will not only help you keep them vibrant in color, but also the perfect texture for freezing and including in all your favorite dishes.
You may have heard cooking shows (or Mom for that matter) mention the cooking term "blanching," but if someone asked you to blanch green beans, would you know how? You will now. Blanching is a heat-and-cool process that plunges a fruit or vegetable into boiling water for a short amount of time before transferring it to an ice bath, which quickly stops the cooking. Also known as parboiling, this quick and simple (yet super useful) technique is most beneficial in getting vegetables ready for canning or freezing because it improves the texture and keeps their colors bright.
The Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob for a Crowd? It's Cooler Corn
Am I the only person who hasn't heard of "cooler corn"?
As an obsessive food nerd, youɽ expect that I would have at least heard of it, but over the weekend I was blindsided by the simple genius of this method for cooking loads of corn on the cob (which is still in season, no matter that summer already seems like a sad memory) perfectly.
I was hepped to it while visiting my family in Maine. Short story: We like corn on the cob. And with eight adults at the table, that means a couple of dozen ears. We would have used the lobster pot to cook them all, but the lobster pot was busy steaming lobster. (And please don't spell it "lobstah." It's not funny.) Then my sister, a capable Maine cook with years of camping experience says "let's do cooler corn!" Before I can ask "what the hell is cooler corn?" a Coleman cooler appears from the garage, is wiped clean, then filled with the shucked ears. Next, two kettles-full of boiling water are poured over the corn and the top closed.
When we sat down to dinner 30 minutes later and opened it, the corn was perfectly cooked. My mind was blown. And I'm told that the corn will remain at the perfect level of doneness for a couple of hours.
Turns out, Cooler Corn is pretty well known among the outdoorsy set (I found a handful of mentions on various camping websites). But for those of us who avoid tents as much as possible, it's perfect for large barbecues and way less of mess than grilling. In fact, I may even buy another cooler just so I'm ready for next summer. Now that I'm in the know.
Best Grill Grates
When it comes time to move onto a new set of grill grates, here’s our recommendations.
Cast Aluminum GrillGrates
SEE @ AMAZON These are special add-on plates that fit into a standard rectangle BBQ set-up, they also have a standard kettle grill model. These grates interlock in sections, you can purchase custom sizes to cover any grill space. They have raised bars that meat and foods sit above with holes at the bottoms of the plates to give airflow and smoke flavor plenty of room. What makes them stand out is they can be flipped over to make a flat griddle cooking surface instead of a grill grate.
Because they’re made from aircraft aluminum, they hold up very well under high heat. Aluminum is excellent at heat distribution so burning your meat is less likely. They are easy to clean with not too much carbon build-up and never rust! Go figure these are the top choice for BBQs
Chrome / Nickel Plated Wire Grates
If you own a standard Weber grill, you’ve seen these shiny cheap grates before. They work well for a while but after a couple of good years of service, they’re ready to toss out. The plating eventually comes off and they tend to rust quickly. Not too much loss, but then again they’re made to be replaced. These grates work excellent since the grate is thin enough to get a good sear on your meat.
Weber/Kettle Grill Hinged Grates
SEE @ AMAZON Weber even has a lift-up hinged version so you can add more coals or wood chips while you cook your meat. The only hassle here is cleaning grill grates later on these versions will be a love-hate relationship. Luckily the spacing on this kind of grate means your food won’t fall through the grate so easily.
Stainless Steel grates
The beauty of these kinds of grates is the variety of styles to choose from. You can pick thicker or thinner grate rods though the thinner ones are much better for allowing the heat to get to your meat for cooking. These will last longer over the plated grates but then again nothing lasts forever when cleaning will eventually wear away the metal surface and elements such as water start to allow rust spots to appear.
You can prep them so they don’t rust so easily and once again these are also replaceable. Just look for a good quality Stainless steel that will last longer than cheaper grates. What you put into the cost of quality steel also affects how your grilled food will turn out.
Cast Iron grill grates
If you ask me, these grates can be perfect for getting non-stick grilling if you are very careful. Here’s why this happens and why so many people think cast iron is some magical metal. The surface has a very nice quality of holding cooking oil. It’s iron, so the little imperfections in the metal will allow the oil to remain on the surface evenly. But when you add heat, this changes everything. That oil can burn-off and then you get fat and food sticking to the grate.
You’ll have to clean these more often when the heat is getting too hot. Even though they hold up great for higher heat, they will need scrubbing and oiling after every use. They can be a headache over the other alternatives. If you want to keep it simple, don’t invest in cast iron grates unless you are prepared to do more prepping to keep these grates well oiled and properly cleaned.