There’s nothing quite like fresh corn, especially just picked. Where I live in the Midwestern U.S., corn is a major crop, so it’s readily available and extremely inexpensive. So in the summer, I like to use it in as many ways possible. Some of you may live in areas where corn must be imported, so your choice of corn might be limited to canned varieties, which unfortunately do not compare.
I’m not going to say that canned corn is completely off limits in my kitchen. I have used it, but it’s just not the same, which isn’t surprising, because what is better canned commercially rather than fresh?
Today I’m making grits, which is essentially cornmeal or polenta, and adding cooked corn to it. I mean, why not? Fresh corn has a very different flavor from grits/polenta/cornmeal, so it will just add another layer of corn flavor. So if you love corn…
Double Corn Grits
3 corn on the cobs, husked
3 cups water
1 cup polenta or grits
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Cream or milk
Cook the corn on the cobs until done, about 7 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, pour the water into a medium saucepan or polenta pot. Heat to boiling, then whisk in the grits, salt, and butter.
Whisking occasionally, cook the grits until it has absorbed all of the liquid. This should take about 15 – 20 minutes on medium heat.
Turn the heat to low, and cook the polenta for about another ten minutes or so, adding cream as necessary as the polenta thickens. You will probably use about 1/2 cup of cream at least. The amount will depend on how coarsely ground your polenta is, which is why I’m not using an exact measurement. You will know when the polenta is completely cooked.
Cut the corn off of the cobs, then break the pieces up to get the individual corn kernels.
Then add them to the polenta.
Stir well and taste for seasoning. For this polenta I kept it simple, but you could add cayenne pepper, hot paprika, ground chipotle pepper or ground ancho chile pepper, or just about any herb, fresh or dried.
I topped the double corn polenta with slices of filet, and sprinkled everything with fresh tomato, goat cheese, and a chiffonade of fresh basil.
note: If you’ve never made grits or polenta, give it a try. Grits are inexpensive, and one cup of the dried ground corn makes a lot of servings.