Too Many Cooks: All Corn, All the Time

July 26, 2013

You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

Corn is one of those vegetables that encapsulates the essence of summer in its very being. There are endless ways to eat it: raw, off the cob, in sweet puddings, in bread. This week, with cobs on the mind, we asked our team:

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What's your favorite way to prepare corn?

Do you douse yours in butter? Do you mix it with other fresh produce? Tell us in the comments!

Charred Corn and Avocado Salad with Lime, Chile and Tomato on Food52

Brette: Since I don't have a grill, I cut the kernels off the cob, put them on a baking sheet, and broil them -- a la EmilyC's Charred Corn and Avocado Salad. In fact, I've made some iteration of that salad 3 times since Saturday.

Stephanie: I'm going fancy on this one. I tested this Sweet Corn Budino with Blueberries and Cornmeal Shortbread recipe for James Beard and I love it. From the other end of the spectrum, Buttered Corn and Noodles. So tasty!

Kristen: I do something like this Corn, Bacon, and Clam Stew a lot, usually forgetting the bacon and clams. 

Michael: Piping hot, on the cob with butter and salt, held by those little plastic corn skewers.

Corn on the Cob from Food52

Bryce: Sweet white corn on the cob. Rolled in butter. Bonus points for kitschy corn holders (mine as a kid were miniature corn cobs).

Kenzi: So were mine! Corn holders for lyfe. [sic] I'm a corn salad kind of girl (any salad, really, but I especially like avocado and salty cheese). And I wouldn't kick a corn pudding out of bed.

Maggie: I used to have even sillier corn holders: Minnie Mouse ones. Appropriate because of Mickey's history with corn. I like it raw, too, shaved off the cob so you can munch on the ends of the kernels that didn't get fully sliced off.

Emma: In any form along with tomatoes and basil. (Think something along the lines of this.)

Merrill: Corn salad with tomatoes and grilled vegetables. Or elote.

Summer Corn Pudding on Food52


Amanda: Corn stew, which is like corn pudding but without the egg and flour -- it's just stripped corn, simmered with a dash of cream and butter, and some corn water (from the cobs cooked in water). That's it, Y'ALL!

Allison: Straight out of the can, y'all. Just kidding! I think corn makes a great addition to any burrata dish.

Amelia: This.

Christina: Grilled, in the husk, no fuss. Then butter, salt, and Tony Chacheres.

Gabriella: Grilled on the cob, then brushed with a mixture of olive oil, sea salt, and cayenne pepper.

Allen: +1 grilled in the husk. Then butter and cayenne pepper.

Jason: Grilled on the cob with honey, butter, and cayenne under the husk. 

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

Hannah: I'm going plain Jane -- raw, off the cob, with a liberal amount of salt.

Maddy: I'm in the raw corn salad camp. I just made the Dilled, Crunchy Sweet Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing on Monday for the umpteenth time, but replaced feta with crumbled blue cheese since I had it on hand. So good. It stays crisp for days.

Lindsay: Hopping on the raw corn salad bandwagon. And also tomato and corn pie.

Brette: Ah, that tomato and corn pie!

Peter: As if you had to ask -- I prefer the Food52-Contest-Winning recipe #224 -- Amagansett Corn Salad!

Corn Salad with Cilantro & Caramelized Onions

Sarah: I'm a card-carrying member of the raw corn contingent. I've also never turned down a piece of corn bread with whole kernels.

Bea: High fructose corn syrup!! (Kidding.) Or cornbread with whole corn kernels!

Jennifer: Barely boiled with butter, salt, and pepper. I grew up with, and still use, the kitschy yellow corn holders, and for the record I eat my corn across the cob -- typewriter style! 

Karl: If fresh enough, raw. Otherwise, steamed just enough. Boring, I know -- but you gotta really taaaste the corn, maaan!

Lauren: Barely boiled!

Amanda Li: Barely boiled in unsalted water. This would be a more heated (and embarrassing) discussion if we discussed how you *eat* the corn.

Tell us: How do you like to prepare your corn? (You can even tell us how you *eat* it if you want.)


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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jolene278
  • Waverly
  • Yuchao Jessica Gu
    Yuchao Jessica Gu
  • creamtea
  • mrslarkin
Emma Wartzman

Written by: Emma Wartzman


jolene278 July 29, 2013
Besides corn on the cob (with great corn, I can skip the butter and salt), I love fresh corn and tomato soup (from New Laurel's), variation here:
Waverly July 29, 2013
Y'all had me going until you mentioned eating raw corn....really? It's just so....raw.
Emma W. July 29, 2013
In the summer raw corn is the best. So crunchy and sweet! I ask the vendors at the farmers market to cut samples right off the cob.
Yuchao J. July 28, 2013
simply stir fry corn with some soy sauce and adding a handful of diced scallions before taking it off the heat, always been my all-time favorite!!!
Emma W. July 29, 2013
Sounds so good!
creamtea July 28, 2013
I bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the shucked ears, return to a boil, clap on the cover and turn off the heat until ready to serve--hot with Ramp (Compound) Butter.
mrslarkin July 28, 2013
Stick a whole, unpeeled ear of corn in the microwave and nuke for 5 minutes. Chop some fresh herbs while you wait - basil, mint, cilantro are my faves. Remove corn with your thermonuclear oven mitt. Carefully slice off about an inch up from the stem end and holding the tippy top, give it a squeeze and a shake, and let the ear slide out. It will be perfectly naked and perfectly cooked. Slather with butter, sprinkle on the herbs, s + p. Yum. I usually just jam the tines of a fork up the fat end, since locating where I put those corn thingies is pretty impossible.
SusanR July 28, 2013
Oh so many ways! I like to add it raw to a salad. I have been making the corn pudding recipe found on this site. Corn, cherry tomatoes, simple champagne vinaigrette. Barely boiled, no butter. Who needs the butter when the corn is so sweet at the height of the season?
Ann S. July 28, 2013
I mix up Indian-inspired raita with steamed kernels stirred into whole milk yogurt—with a bit of buttermilk if I have it. Depending on what's in the garden I might add cubed tomato, radish, scallions or chives, chopped cilantro and a bit of mint. Raita must be seasoned with a generous amount of salt (which balances the yogurt's tang) and ground roasted cumin seeds. If you have it, a pinch of chaat masala is wonderful too.
Randye H. July 28, 2013
Ina Garten's Fresh Corn Salad - the essence of summer - easy and delicious:
5 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

Emma W. July 29, 2013
bluechefk July 27, 2013
grilled, on the cob, with lime juice & salt - no butter for me!
snowcitygirl July 27, 2013
Growing up corn was always lightly steamed, slathered with salted butter, and nibbled row by row across the cob while holding onto it using those same plastic-cob-corn-holders. Since I started taking over the kitchen I'm obsessed with a simple salad: corn tossed with red onion, salt, pepper, basil, cucumber, tomato, whatever else you feel like, and the grande finale - cider vinegar. There is a batch of it in my fridge right now!
JanetFL July 26, 2013
If you are lucky enough to be in Colorado now, buy Olathe sweet corn and just do this: Simply and delicious!
AntoniaJames July 26, 2013
Quinoa, corn and heirloom tomato salad, with the quinoa cooked in corn stock (made with husks -- so full of flavor!! -- and cobs). I've been living on some variation of this (cilantro instead of parsley, lots of lime juice, hunks of dead ripe avocado; Greek herbs and sharp feta cheese with red wine vinegar + lemon juice -- you get the picture) all summer. More details here: Can be made with raw corn kernels, too, if you are lazy or have some other excuse, like you love raw corn, which I do! Bi-color is recommended for optimum balance of corn flavor + sweetness. ;o)
amysarah July 26, 2013
I still have those plastic corn cob shaped holders (a couple dozen mismatched ones.) What else would you use? Sheesh. Sometimes I make corn fritters - when my kids were little, they ate them drizzled with honey - or (from an old Jacques Pepin recipe) corn fritters with cumin and red peppers.
BiCoastalCook July 26, 2013
Farmers Market Salad-Cake: slice however many beautiful delicious summer tomatoes you want, in lots of colors, and lay them flat on your favorite platter. Shave fresh raw corn kernels on top of the tomatoes as frosting. Sprinkle diced red onion on top instead of those weird cupcake sprinkles. Top with shredded fresh basil or mint leaves, a drizzle of vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, and sea salt. Eat before anybody else gets near the kitchen. Too good to share...
Kathy S. July 26, 2013
Lentil Corn Salsa ....plays well when you vary amounts of ingredients, travels well, and keeps (if it doesn't get eaten immediately). Shucked and cut off the cob white corn. Boiled just until done: lentils, garlic, white onion, NM Chile. That into a bowl with prepared fave salsa, chopped green cchilies, scallions, black olives,,cilantro and lots of fresh lime juice. You can see how your favorite flavors can stand out. Serve with chips or romaine leaves
jamcook July 27, 2013
A casserole of corn, zucchini and tomatoes baked with good