We’ve been celebrating the abundance of summer produce. Some of it has been home-grown; more of it has been Farmers Market bounty or even supermarket stocked.
I’ve noticed that while some local chains (Jewel for you local FoodBeests) are contracting their fresh produce sections, making fewer varieties available and pre-plastic-wrapping everything else they can get their
evil hands on, others (Mariano’s) are stepping up and stepping in with beautiful seasonal offerings that display a profusion of color and aroma. Which is what food is supposed to be about. I mean why sell food, if you don’t appreciate what it is before it is freeze-dried, processed, genetically modified, HFCSed, shrink-wrapped, frozen, or cardboard-packaged?
Thank you for indulging my brief rant, Fellow FoodBeest. We will now continue with our scheduled post.
So today’s ode to vegetables is the humble, but briefly available fresh, locally grown sweet corn. Corn has been bred for much greater sweetness than I remember as a child. that may or may not be a good thing. Still, it seems like at least once every week between the middle of July and the middle of September, corn-on-the-cob shows up on our table.
We’ll be seeing more of this new preparation for corn this summer. And we’ll continue to fight for the caramelized crispy pieces.
What You Need to Make Skillet-Roasted Corn
1 T bacon grease (ok, or vegetable oil)
4 large ears of corn, shucked
4 green onions, chopped
(or any onions you have around. I just like the color green onions add to this dish.)
1 t fresh thyme
½ t salt
1 T heavy cream
2 T all-purpose flour
How to Make Skillet-Roasted Corn
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the kernels off the cobs using a sharp knife and holding the corn over a large bowl. Don’t use an ordinary cutting board or flat plate unless you want to retrieve the corn kernels from all over the counter or the table.
Then use the knife to scrape all the pulp and juice off the cobs into the bowl along with the corn kernels. Add the onions, thyme, salt, cream and flour, and mix well.
When the oven is hot, pour the bacon grease (or the oil) into a 9-inch (preferably) cast-iron skillet and be sure the oil coats the sides and bottom. Heat the oil and the skillet in the oven for 30 minutes.
Carefully take that scorching-hot skillet out of the oven and pour the sticky corn mixture into it. Press the corn mixture down with a spatula to flatten it, even it up, and compact it. Bake it until the edges begin to brown and the top is browned in places, about 40 minutes.
Remove it from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Run a knife carefully around the inside edge of the skillet to loosen the corn mixture. Put a serving platter on top of the pan, carefully invert platter and pan, and lift off the pan. This will take something because the pan will probably still be hot. In a perfect world, the platter will hold a beautiful golden brown corn cake. (And even if it doesn’t, Fellow FoodBeest, I promise that your mouth won’t care.)
This makes an amazing sweet skillet-roasted corn cake. Just be sure you get all the crispy bits onto the platter and enjoy them. This really is delicious.