One of the great pleasures of summer is corn on the cob -- sweet, crunchy and in certain ways, good for you.
Corn is a complex carbohydrate that's high in fiber and contains nutrients that boost eye and digestive health.
At the same time, it's difficult to digest, so decide whether you're up to it before indulging.
SOUTHWESTERN SAUTEED CORN
1 tablespoon butter
3-1⁄3 cups fresh corn or 1 package (16 ounces) frozen corn
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄3 cup minced fresh cilantro
In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add corn; cook and stir until tender, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in tomato, lime juice, salt and cumin. Cook until heated through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.
GRILLED CORN WITH HERB BUTTER
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tender herbs (such as cilantro, chives, and/or flat-leaf parsley)
1 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Mix butter, herbs, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Set herb butter aside.
Brush corn with oil and grill, turning often, until it is tender and charred in spots, 5-8 minutes.
Transfer corn to a large platter or bowl and spread with reserved herb butter, dividing evenly.
BLUEBERRY AND CORN CRISP
For the filling:
5 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries
1⁄3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the topping and assembly:
2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
2⁄3 cup coarse-grind cornmeal or polenta
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 1 large ear)
Toss blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Using your hands, work butter into dry ingredients until no dry spots remain and mixture holds together when squeezed. Add corn and toss to evenly distribute. Press topping between your fingers and break into large pieces over filling.
Bake crisp until topping is golden brown and juices are thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes before serving.
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3⁄4-inch cubes
1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
1 medium onion, diced
1 1⁄2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1⁄2 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup roasted or thawed frozen corn
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked shortgrain brown rice
1 can (8 ounces) enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded lowfat pepper Jack cheese, divided
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 scallion, chopped
6 sprigs fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, toss potatoes in 1 tablespoons oil; spread on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are soft and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Wrap tortillas in foil; bake 10 minutes. In a large pan over medium heat, heat remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon oil. Add onion, chili powder, chipotle and cumin; cook until onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add corn, peppers and black beans; cook 5 minutes. Set aside half of corn mixture. Add potatoes, rice and enchilada sauce to pan; cook 6 minutes. Place 6 tortillas on a baking sheet. Spread potato mixture and 1⁄2 cup cheese evenly among tortillas. Top with remaining 6 tortillas, remaining 1⁄2 cup cheese and reserved corn mixture; bake 7 minutes. Divide avocado, scallion and cilantro among enchiladas.
Sweet, sweet corn
• Cooking: If on the cob, shuck and clean the corn, bring your water to a boil, drop corn in, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and serve quickly -- don't let it stand in the water.
• Storage: Cook immediately after bringing it home. This will delay the process of the sugars turning into starch and you'll have a much fresher tasting product. If you store it with the shucks on, you'll keep the kernels from being mashed, bumped and drying out. Shuck and wash just before cooking.
• Freezing: This can be done with the shucks on or off. On the cob: Water blanch small ears (1 1/4 inches or less in diameter) 3 to 7 minutes, medium ears (1-1/2 inches in diameter or more) 5 to 9 minutes. Cool in an ice water bath for approximately the same amount of time as blanching. Drain and package in gallon-size zip closure freezer bags. Push excess air from the bags, seal and freeze. Leave space between each bag until frozen. Off the Cob: Water blanch corn on the cob for 4 minutes. Cool promptly and completely in ice water for 4 minutes. Drain and cut corn from the cob. Cut kernels from the cob about two-thirds the depth of the kernels. Package in zip closure freezer bags.
• Freezing corn In the husks: If you have the freezer room, you can freeze with the husks on in a brown bag and microwave for about 3 to 5 minutes when you are ready to eat.
Tip: If you cook your frozen corn in the microwave, allow several minutes to cool before you remove the husk. Steam builds up inside the husk and if you remove this protective layer too quickly, you may get burned.