Nothing ‘corny’ about this veggie

Corn on the cob is an intriguing vegetable and one children like to navigate through.

Do you eat yours around and around the cob or do you eat the kernels in a straight line?

It doesn’t really matter. It tastes the same either way. It’s your preference.

Whether purchased from the supermarket, farmers’ market or picked directly from the garden, fresh vegetables are hard to top in flavor and texture, according to Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Count on one large ear of corn being a serving for a meal. If they are smaller, you might consider two. Remove the husks from the ears and scrub with a stiff brush to remove silk and rinse off. Cook, covered, in enough boiling lightly salted water to cover for 5 to 7 minutes or until kernels are tender.

For microwaving corn on the cob, wrap each ear in waxed paper, place on microwaveable-safe paper towels in the microwave on 100 percent power for 3 to 5 minutes for one ear; 5 to 7 minutes for two ears or 9 to 12 minutes for four ears. Rearrange the ears in the microwave once while they are cooking. Get out the corn holders and wait for everyone to add butter and dive in.

To make kernels from corn on the cob, after removing husks and scrubbing with a stiff brush, cut kernels from the cob – four ears will make 2 cups of corn. Cook, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Or steam for 4 to 5 minutes. Place in a casserole with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, covered, on 100 percent power for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring once.

And remember not to keep corn for more than three days. The sugars in the corn will turn to starch unless kept in the husk, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to three days.

For different flavored butters, here are a few hints:

Herb butter – In a small mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme and 2 teaspoons snipped fresh marjoram or oregano with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Cajun butter – Beat 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Chipolte-lime butter – Beat 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground chipolte chile powder and dash cayenne pepper with electric mixer on low until combined. Chill for up to 24 hours.

With the cooler months of fall coming, a chowder will taste good, especially if it is filled with potatoes, crisp bacon, onions and a rich cream. This is not a dish for those watching their calories. Well, maybe just a little bit will be OK.

Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons bacon fat

1/4 cup butter

3 large onions, chopped

One-fourth green pepper, diced

8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

4 cups milk

2 cups whipping cream

5 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels, cooked

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/2 to 1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup butter

6 to 8 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Melt 1/4 cup butter and bacon fat in skillet. Add onion and saute over medium heat until tender. Add green pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain well. Combine milk and cream in a large saucepan and heat slowly. When warm, add all ingredients, except 1/4 cup butter and bacon. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and let stand at least three hours to thicken. Before serving, warm soup. Stir in remaining butter. Thin with milk if it is too thick. Garnish each bowl with crushed bacon. Makes 12 servings.

Here is a casserole made with whole kernel corn, cream of celery soup, cream cheese with chives and onion or with garden vegetables. It is from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Creamed Corn

Casserole

Nonstick cooking spray

Two 16-ounce packages frozen whole kernel corn

2 cups chopped red and or green sweet pepper, 2 large

1 cup chopped onions, 1 large

1 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/ 2 teaspoon black pepper

10.75-ounce can condensed cream of celery soup

8-ounce tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion or cream cheese spread with garden vegetables

1/4 cup milk

Coat a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray; set aside. Place corn in a colander. Run it under cool water to thaw; drain. Set aside. In a large saucepan, cook sweet peppers and onion in butter until tender. Stir in corn and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together soup, cream cheese spread and milk. Stir soup mixture into corn mixture. Transfer to the prepared casserole. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until casserole is heated through, stirring once.

For slow cooker preparation: Prepare as above, except do not thaw corn and omit butter.

In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine frozen corn, sweet pepper, onion and black pepper. In a medium bowl whisk together soup, cream cheese spread and milk. Pour over corn mixture in cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for four to five hours. Stir before serving. Makes 12 servings for either preparation.

I watch “The Chew” every time I get a chance. I love Carla Hall and Daphne Oz and their style of cooking and found a recipe in the Redbook magazine for one of Carla’s dishes.

It is a cook-in-the-foil dinner, all combined together with no pans to wash. It calls for corn on the cob cut into 1-inch pieces. It looked delicious to me.

Campfire-style Shrimp with Veggies

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, 26 to 30, cleaned and deveined with tails left on

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cobs of corn, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 sprigs thyme

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat the grill to medium-high or the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Lay four pieces of aluminum foil, each about 14 inches long, on a flat surface and place another piece on top. Divide shrimp mixture among the four packets. Bring the long sides of the foil to the center and crease them together, making tight folds until the foil lies flat against the food. Fold the shorter sides in to seal. Place packets on grill or in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Carefully open one end of each packet first, which allows steam to escape before serving.

This is about 338 calories per delicious packet.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)