The Joy of Summer Sweet Corn
Summer is coming, and one of the most anticipated treats is the delight of enjoying a fresh ear of sweet corn brushed with melted butter. Corn on the cob is delicious, but there’s more than one way to serve fresh corn. Along with the corn harvest comes a big variety of other vegetables and dishes.
When you cut the corn from the cob, the possibilities for preparing corn are endless. You can add it to bread to make a wonderful spoon bread recipe, or a great Southern favorite, corn pudding. Corn combines well with other summer vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. The secret to a great dish is to use the freshest corn available. The less time that passes between the garden and the finished recipe the better.
When you’re selecting corn, choose ears with tight, green husks and tender milky looking kernels that are evenly spaced on the ear and firm enough to puncture if you squeeze it a little. If you’re not going to be preparing your corn immediately after you get it home, then buy it with the husks and put it in the refrigerator to prevent the sugar in the corn from turning to starch and tasting less than sweet. If your recipe calls only for kernels of corn, remember that two average size ears will usually give you about one cup of corn kernels.
Here’s a delicious summer corn recipe to try out this year.
Corn and Tomato Casserole
8 slices bacon, cut in half
2 c soft breadcrumbs
2 c peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes
1 med green pepper, chopped
3 c fresh corn cut from cob
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp pepper
¼ c butter, melted
Place half of bacon in a shallow 2 qt casserole, and top with 1 c breadcrumbs. Layer half of tomatoes, green pepper, and corn over breadcrumbs; sprinkle with half of salt, sugar and pepper. Repeat layers of the veggies and seasoning. Combine the melted butter and remaining 1 c breadcrumbs, stirring well; spoon evenly over casserole. Top with remaining bacon; bake at 375 F for 40-45 minutes. Serves 8.
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