From Shelby Moose, Dietitian
When selecting sweet corn, look for husks with green coloring and pale-tinted silk. To check freshness, pull the top of the husk away from the ear and look for evenly spaced, tight rows and slightly plump kernels. After buying, wrap unhusked ears in a plastic bag and refrigerate until preparation time. As corn ages, it tends to lose its sweet taste and nutrients; therefore, corn should be cooked and eaten soon after picking.
Try these five simple and quick methods for cooking fresh corn.
1. Grill: Sweet corn can be grilled either with or without the husk. For a slightly charred, smoky flavor, grill sweet corn out of the husk. Simply brush the ears with melted butter or flavored oil and grill over medium heat, turning often, until kernels are golden, around 7 to 10 minutes. If you prefer a more intense corn flavor, grilling in the husk is the preferred method. Pull back the husks and remove silks; replace husks and tie in place with a strip of husk or string. Soak in water for 10 minutes. Grill with medium heat,turning often, for 7 to 10 minutes.
2. Microwave: In the microwave, place no more than four ears of husked corn, wrapped individually in damp paper towels. Microwave on HIGH until hot, about 2 minutes per ear.
3. Skillet-Steam: In a skillet, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add husked corn in a single layer. When the water returns to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook until hot, about 3 minutes; drain.
4. Boil: In a deep saucepan, bring 4 inches of water to a boil. Add husked corn. When the water returns to a boil, cook until hot, about 2 minutes; drain.
5. Roast: Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a shallow baking pan, place husked ears and roast until corn is hot and kernels turn golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Marinades and rubs are often added to the cooking process, either before or during grilling, to enhance the flavor of the dish. Freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley or basil, can also be added, usually after grilling, to retain freshness and green coloring. Enjoy this summer classic!