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Country Corn

Fresh corn is a treat I wait for all year long, and I love corn grown in Kentucky. These recipe favorites of mine make use of not only fresh corn but frozen as well, so there’s no reason not to enjoy corn all year. You can pick your own, freeze, or can extra, then enjoy the bounty.

BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
1 avocado for garnish, thinly sliced

Combine first six ingredients. Sprinkle with lime juice and drizzle with olive oil. Toss, then add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange avocado slices across top. Note: You may brush avocado slices with lime juice to prevent browning. Serves 4-6.

CORN QUICHE
1 bunch green onions
2 ears fresh corn
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly grated pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
6 oz. Gruyere or jack cheese, shredded
1 unbaked piecrust
Freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut off 1 inch of onion tops, then cut onions into 1/2-inch pieces. Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Cut kernels off corn, then add corn, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Place corn and onion mixture in the unbaked piecrust.

Whisk together milk, cream, and eggs. Sprinkle half of cheese over corn mixture. Pour milk mixture over corn mixture and cheese; grate fresh nutmeg over quiche. Top with remaining 3 ounces of cheese. Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until center is set. Serves 6-8.

FRESH CORN WITH SALSA
1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from cob
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1 cup good quality salsa
1/2 lime

Heat oil and sauté corn over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove to serving bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic, chopped green onions, and salsa; mix thoroughly. Squeeze lime juice over corn and toss. Serves 4.

SCALLOPED CORN
2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 (10-oz.) bag frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (15-oz.) can cream-style corn
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup crushed buttery crackers
1 cup milk
2 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325°. Heat butter in small pan and sauté onion and bell pepper until tender. Remove from heat and add thawed corn. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, cream-style corn mixture, salt, crushed crackers, and milk. Combine with onion mixture and pour into greased, 2-quart rectangular pan. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes until golden brown. Serves 8.

CHIVE CORN FRITTERS
6 ears fresh corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Cut and scrape fresh corn off cobs. Mix remaining ingredients together and add corn. Fry by tablespoonful in preheated oil. Allow time for corn to cook thoroughly by adjusting heat when necessary. Makes 3 dozen.

Fresh Cooked Corn on the Cob
Many people overcook fresh corn on the cob and it becomes very starchy or gummy tasting. Also, try to cook corn as close to the day that it is picked as possible, otherwise the corn starts converting sugar to starch. Store corn in the shucks in the refrigerator until it can be cooked.

For perfectly cooked corn on the cob, fill a large stockpot halfway with water. Do not salt the water. Bring to a rolling boil and place shucked, silked corn into the pot. Once water returns to a boil, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot. Let the corn cook in the water for an additional one to five minutes. Young corn takes less time to cook than older or more mature corn. Make sure and stir the corn so that it turns over once.

Coming Next Month: Soul Food Favorites

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