5 Ways to Prepare Montana Sweet Corn You Have to Try
I love sweet corn. When most people at the fair are lining up for funnel cakes, fried Oreos and Vikings, my first stop is always the stand that sells fresh sweet corn on a stick. Salty, buttery, delicious sweet corn is a summertime favorite for many Montanans and when I make it at home I usually eat way more ears than I should at one sitting.
The sweet corn crop from many growers in Yellowstone County are likely still a couple of weeks away from harvest, but local, early-variety sweet corn is already available from producers in the Hardin area. I snatched up a dozen, straight from the bed of a pickup truck, at the Laurel farmers market on Saturday. The only way you can find fresher corn is if you picked it yourself.
Let's get corny... here are five easy ways to cook up your Montana sweet corn.
Classic boiled corn.
Dropping those beautiful ears of sweet corn in a big pot of boiling water is probably how most people cook corn. It's quick (3-4 minutes) and you can't really mess it up. Some people like cooking the corn with the husks on, claiming the silk and husks slide right off. I've had mixed results. Pro tip: if you're preparing a ton of corn for freezing, use a turkey fryer (with water, not oil!). You can fit a lot of corn into that giant pot.
Sweet corn on the grill.
Help your kitchen stay a little cooler by cooking your corn outdoors. When grilling corn, I like to leave the husks on and soak them in bucket of lightly salted water for a while. Soaking helps prevent them from catching on fire so quickly. Carefully pull the husks back, remove the silk, then wrap the husks back up. Toss on the grill. I let them steam in the husks, cooking over medium temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning frequently. To get that nice char look/flavor, pull back the husks to finish cooking.
Microwaved sweet corn? You betcha.
Bags of sweet corn at farmers market vendors usually come by the dozen. If your family doesn't eat a dozen at a time, you might have a couple of ears left over. Boiling a giant pot of water to cook a couple ears of corn seems like a waste of time... so toss them in the microwave. Simply Recipes recommends leaving the husks on and cooking for 4 minutes. Boom, your corn is done.
Kick up your sweet corn game with Mexican street corn.
I usually eat my sweet corn with salt and butter, but every once in a while it's fun to switch it up with a punch of extra flavor. Mexican street corn, known as elote, is usually a blend of cotija cheese, mayo, lime juice and cilantro. Cook your corn as usual, then brush on the mixture. Yum.
Easy slow-cooker sweet corn.
I love my Crock Pot, but it doesn't seem to get used as much in the summer as it does in the winter. This super easy sweet corn recipe from The Blond Cook has prompted me to dig it out from the back of the pantry next time I want to cook some corn. Just wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil (with a couple slabs of butter and salt and pepper) and cook it on high for 2 1/2 hours or low for 4 1/2. Easy peasy.
If you hope to fill your freezer with sweet corn, cutting the corn from the cob can be somewhat tedious. I recently stumble upon this awesome hack that utilizes an angel food cake pan. Check it out.
Next time you see a roadside sweet corn truck, grab a dozen or two and get your corn on.