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Corn off the cob

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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 9:23 am

Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Go outside and pick some ripe corn. You will know it’s ripe because the silky tassel will feel dry and be brownish in color. The top ear of the plant is the first to ripen.

Shuck the corn by pulling away the silk and leaves. Use a damp paper towel to wipe away any stubborn and clingy threads. Then, place the ears in the boiling water. Boil for just a few minutes and remove the cooked ears with tongs.

If you don’t have corn growing in your garden, for maximum freshness, leave the husks on purchased corn and prepare just before cooking! You can make enough to serve as classic corn on the cob with butter and salt and cute handles that pierce either end. But the goal is to have freshly cooked corn to cut off the cob and toss in a salad.

I think I am partial to corn off the cob because I wore braces for many years and truly this was the only way to eat corn. My mother was a pro at eating corn on the cob. She could bite each row perfectly — going back and forth like a typewriter.

My brother and sister and I would try to mimic her technique but obviously did not have the patience required as the discarded cobs looked pretty messy while my mom’s were pristine.

I guess the analogy of licking a Tootsie Pop and never biting it applies here. We couldn’t resist biting into a big, juicy mouthful! I like to add freshly cooked corn kernels to a rice salad. Their sweetness improves the flavor and the color enhances the presentation.

Rice and quinoa salad

1 cup cooked rice (try brown or red for better nutrition)

1/2 cup cooked wild rice

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped carrot

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup small white beans, cooked and drained (canned is fine/pick your favorite/even cannellini or garbanzo work well)

1 cup cooked corn kernels

1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine

Vinaigrette

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Sauté onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil on low heat for 10 minutes. Add cooked rice, wild rice and quinoa and continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes to intensify the flavors. Transfer to a large salad bowl and let cool. Stir in beans, corn kernels, pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.

— Source: www.atavolatogether.com

Cook, Eat, Laugh ... Claudia

Claudia Pruett was raised in Saratoga. She is an entrepreneur, chef and community volunteer. She is married to Greg and they have three children. She enjoys cooking for friends and Bikram Yoga.

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