The Food52 Hotline is where questions go to get answered—from the best way to thaw a frozen cake to the best all-purpose flour for baking. Today, we're talking about summery, golden, buttery corn. Which we love more than anything. Except, ahem, its pesky silk strands. How the heck do you remove those things? And what is our test kitchen's go-to way to shuck corn? Let's find out.
Around here, we could talk about corn all day: how to choose an ear (no peeking!), the best way to cook it on the cob, and how to use the whole ingredient—yep, every single part. And don't get us started on our favorite ways to eat it: raw, charred, creamed, and even churned into ice cream. And of course we’re all in love with kitschy cob-shaped holders. Corny? Oh, we don’t care.
But if there's anything standing between us and corn, it's the silk. You know, those wispy strands clinging to the kernels? On the Hotline, Food52er Kathy asked for the best way to remove corn silk, and we were all ears to hear what the community had to say...
Thanks, everyone! We'll have to try that teeth trick later—but for now, here are our test kitchen's top tips on how to shuck corn:
And now that the silk is gone (yahoo!), here are a few of our favorite recipes with fresh corn:
Perfect next to grilled chicken, crispy fish, or a juicy steak. (Also, perfect to bring to a potluck!) Sweet corn gets paired up with spicy Sriracha, diced bell pepper, fresh cilantro, and crumbly Cotija cheese.
A contemporary—and much more savory—take on classic corn pudding. Skip the sugar and bring in sautéed onion and garlic. And instead of just milk or cream, throw in some buttermilk and sharp cheddar for good measure.
The corniest corn fritters you'll ever meet. The fresh kernels are bound together with grated cheese and sliced scallions, plus a little egg and flour. We love how they brown and crisp in the pan, forming potato chip–like edges.
Name a summerier pasta—we'll wait. Our co-founder Merrill Stubbs opts for shells and basil, but feel free to play around with both the pasta shape and fresh herbs. Penne, orecchiete, and rigatoni would all be happy here. As would mint, thyme, chives, or a mix.
This article originally published in May 2014. We refreshed it for another summer of eating too much corn (just kidding, no such thing). What are your tricks for removing corn silk? And what's your favorite corn recipe of the summer? Let us know in the comments.
Photos by Eric Moran