July through September is a great time to be a corn lover. This is when one of America’s favorite foods is at the peak of sweet, succulent freshness.
If you’re a corn purest, you desire nothing more on your grilled or boiled cob than a touch of butter and a sprinkle of salt.
But if you’re in search of a bit more complexity in your corn dishes, here are 10 ways you can get it. And if you happen to be reading this in the dead of winter, when fresh corn is still months away, frozen corn is a remarkably good substitute.
- Cajun Corn: Consider corn on the cob with a little smoke from a grill and a little heat from a Cajun and red-pepper seasoning.
- Grilled Southwestern Corn: Corn on the cob goes south-of-the-border with a brush of cumin-infused oil, and a sprinkle of cilantro and salt.
- Béarnaise Corn and Potato Packets: Ears of corn, along with diced potatoes, tarragon and chives, take “the wrap” in a savory side dish.
- Healthified Creamed Corn: Corn kernels get a colorful zing from chopped red peppers and green onions, plus a healthified creaminess from Neufchâtel cheese.
- Zucchini-Corn Gratin: Combine corn kernels with cornbread stuffing mix, Cheddar cheese, and sliced zucchini to create a sure-to-impress hot dish.
- Salmon and Corn Cakes: Patty-sized cakes of corn and salmon — brightened with chopped fresh garlic, onions and peppers — provide a healthier alternative to burgers.
- Asparagus and Corn with Honey-Mustard Glaze: The addition of fresh asparagus spears, a touch of Dijon mustard, and a bit of honey, turn corn kernels into a simple, but elegant side dish.
- Black Bean and Corn Salad: Corn kernels replace greens in a spicy salad that’s high in protein and fiber, thanks to the addition of black beans.
- Zesty Corn Combo: Three kinds of peppers — including fiery jalapeños — transform a simple corn side dish into an explosion of flavors.
- Chive-and-Onion Creamed Corn: A corn dish doesn’t have to be vegetarian. The addition of bacon in this corn casserole appeals to most meat lovers.