Weeknight Cooking

Buttered Corn and Noodles

September 19, 2011

Butterd Corn and Noodles

- Jenny

Husband: “Really? Milking corn?”

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Me: “It’s not that big a deal. Just use the paring knife.”

Husband: “I just don’t feel that corn milking is something you should be asking people to do during the week.”

Do you have conversations like this? Some helpers need help to help, that’s just the way it goes in the kitchen. Don’t be worked up about all of this when you take on Buttered Corn and Noodles because it really is not that much trouble, and as we move more deeply into fall, and your basil begins to look like little green tears out there on the porch, and the corn finally disappears from the markets, you’ll want to use frozen corn for this meal and there will be no milking involved. 

So, what we have here friends, is a lot of carbs and a lot of fat, perked up with some more fat, and a few delightful herbs. We’re talking about egg noodles, for which you should put on your water right away, because, if you have a helper shucking your corn and taking it off the cob (then taking the little bits and corn milk off with the butt of your knife as aargersi explains) this dish will be ready in no time.

Crisp up your bacon first (my large cast iron was a good skillet for this dish), then get the corn going in the slick of bacon fat that you have left behind and the butter, as your new lardons take a paper towel nap. Watch your heat: I had to kick it down a notch as the corn started to brown up. As it so happened, my husband put the milk right in with the corn bits, so it all went into the pan together, which was fine.

At this point the noodles went into their bath of boiling water and indeed six minutes later, as instructed, they were ready to be drained and join their corn friends in the skillet. Next do your herbs (may I use this opportunity once again to extol the joys of marjoram which really never seems to get its due even though basil is constantly being tarted around the town in every recipe I have) and some salt and pepper. Throw on your scallions (a nice touch but if you don’t have any, don’t worry; some sautéed shallots would be a great choice here, too) and the lemon zest.

Total time: roughly 15 minutes. Now take your bowl and go watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I suggest a run the next morning.

Buttered Corn and Noodles by aargersi

Serves 4


  • a pinch of fresh marjoram
  • zest from 1 lemon

  • Cut the corn off of the cob, then milk the cobs as well. Thinly slice the scallions, and chop the herbs. ** to milk the cob - set the cob on end in a bowl and run the back side of your knife down it to get the juices and kernel tidbits out - this adds extra corny goodness to your dish! **

  • Start a pot of water boiling for the noodles. Cut the bacon into lardons and crisp it in a large skillet. When it is nice and crunchy, remove it to a paper towel and drain all but a thin coating of bacon fat. Put the heat on medium add the butter and the corn to the skillet. Season with a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.

  • Your water should be boiling so put the noodles in, they probably take 6 minutes. Add the corn "milk" and the noodles to the skillet, then toss in the herbs and green onion and the bacon. Zest the lemon into the pan, toss, and serve!!


Photo by Nicole Franzen

Like Jenny? Read how she rustled up the end of her garden for Finger-Lickin' Finger Lakes Chicken last week.

By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

Jennifer Steinhauer

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BiCoastalCook September 25, 2011
I think I'm just going to make the sauce and ignore the noodles! Surely that cuts out enough calories so I only have to sweat for one hour the next morning instead of two. The recipe is wonderful but Jenny's intro makes it even more so. Thanks to both of you! PS we still have corn here in Central Coast California...
Sagegreen September 24, 2011
So nice to see aargersi's recipe featured here with Nicole's photo!
Lyn @. September 21, 2011
LOL @ Milking the corn! :-D A really lovely looking dish. So simple and attractive. "Extra corny goodness" is great too.
Lyn @. September 21, 2011
LOL @ Milking the corn! :-D A really lovely looking dish. So simple and attractive. "Extra corny goodness" is great too.
Jestei September 23, 2011
i hope you like it
mcs3000 September 20, 2011
So good! Couldn't resist adding the bacon even though it's Meatless Monday.
Jestei September 23, 2011
i know. so make it tues!
wssmom September 19, 2011
You got your husband to milk corn? I am impressed :)
Jestei September 23, 2011
well. it was not willingly.
AntoniaJames September 19, 2011
I've been saying all summer, in comments here on food52 every chance I can get, how marjoram is corn's best friend. In fact, if a recipe calling for corn also calls for basil, I routinely add marjoram or use marjoram instead. (Marjoram also does well stuffed under the skin of a chicken before roasting it.) I now have two marjoram plants, because I was constantly depleting the single one I had at the beginning of the summer. Glad to see marjoram getting some love here, too. Corn + marjoram + bacon + butter + egg noodles = delightfully decadent. ;o)
Jestei September 23, 2011
Bevi September 19, 2011
I made this when aargersi first published the recipe. It was a huge hit - carbs be damned! It is complete comfort food, and has the perfect combination of flavors. Thanks for showcasing this, Jenny. A quick trip to Trader Joe's will get you canned corn (in the same packaging since Day 1) or frozen kernels, so I figure I will be making this all year. I am thinking of putting it on one holiday menu just because. My dad and mom will like the Amishy flavors.
Jestei September 23, 2011
i feel fine about frozen corn. canned too in some instances. i can't stand to be without all winter.
Midge September 19, 2011
I've made this three times now and can't wait for the fourth. It definitely puts extra spring in your step on your morning run!
Jestei September 23, 2011
yes indeed
aargersi September 19, 2011
Reading this certainly makes me smile! And yes, an extra mile (or two) the next morning is well advised.
mariaraynal September 19, 2011
Made me smile, too!
Jestei September 23, 2011
come here and run with me
susymac September 19, 2011
We don't get good old corn on the cob over here in the Netherlands...but i'm sure this dish will be just as good with corn from a tin (if i close my eyes really tight and dream of peaches and cream corn from Quebec where i grew up)!....sounds soooo easy and yummie! I think i'll make this...or some bland Dutch version of it this week!
Jestei September 19, 2011
i would say do some sauteed shallots to perk it up. and bacon solves the rest of your problems. work with what you're got. it won't be bland at all i bet!
Burnt O. September 19, 2011
PERFECT timing! Thank you! My neighbors gifted me with fresh corn from the Farmer's Market yesterday. Picked on the Eastern Shore of MD in the early hours of yesterday morning. Guess what's for dinner tonight!! Bravo.
Jestei September 19, 2011
glad to have you covered!