Thursday, August 18, 2011

Silver Queen Corn

I'm not sure if there's anything so delicious in this world as native corn that arrives during mid summer in New England. The first day it arrives is like a miracle. They'll come later than the corn you'll see in the grocery stores in early June, which are likely shipped from warmer climates, notably from Georgia. This corn is kind of like a teaser to the real deal, and as soon as I see fresh corn in the farmers markets, I plunge on my prey like a cheetah that has been waiting all winter for something as sweet, juicy, and as glorious as this. 
Now, we've had delicious sweet corn available to us for weeks in these parts, and I always succumb to the need to purchase a few ears at the farmers market, despite whatever my original game plan had been. But this week, Kimball Farms Fruit stand had something I had been waiting for. It was Silver Queen Corn! Beside having an amazingly regal name, this corn I find is even sweeter than the other offerings that we have enjoyed and ache for during the dead of winter. Silver queen is, per the name, famous for its quite pale kernels. Isn't it pretty?
It's cooked up in the same way as regular native corn. I like mine prepared quite lazily, and simply. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In the meantime, shuck your corn. Place each cob onto a sheet of tin foil. Add a tablespoon of canola oil to each, and work it evenly all over the cob. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and then wrap them up tightly, individually in the sheets of foil. They are now ready to be sent off properly into the oven. Bon voyage!
Eighteen minutes later, they are finished. They are perfectly plump and juicy. The skins are so thin, because they've had very little travel time, and this is the type of corn that is grown in New England. (Thicker skin types are bred elsewhere so that they may survive longer journeys without rotting... and they suck so bad compared to local corn.) Sprinkle a little salt, as you do not even need butter for these delicious beauties, and sink your teeth into something that is altogether too representative of summer. Each kernel will pop with sweetness, and that slippery, crisp corn texture. The silver queen. You may be my favorite side dish of summer time. 

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