[September] Sweet CornSep 5th, 2012 | By NEF staff | Category: Flavor of the Month
The end of summer in New England heralds the gorgeous autumn foliage to come, but that’s not the only thing: September is sweet corn season, and we at Northeast FLAVOR couldn’t be more excited. In fact, corn is featured in the “Seasonal Flavors” section of our new issue! Snap up a copy today for great new recipes like the Grilled Corn, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Pizza, which is featured on our cover. (Did any of you participate in the cover photo vote we held on our Facebook page? It was a close race.) Take a look at the article to learn about the different varieties of corn, how to select the perfect specimens, and the best methods of preparation for this New England favorite.
Fresh, fresh, fresh is the mantra of the knowledgeable home cook, and we in New England have the good fortune to be among those who can get ears of sweet corn as fresh as they come, from roadside stands or farmers markets. Or to enjoy corn in a non-traditional way, visit a corn maze. Farmers build elaborate mazes in early September that are worth a visit and are definitely a challenge.
The sheer variety of dishes that can benefit from this local ingredient is staggering. Just imagine corn chowder or gazpacho, charred corn salad, or cornmeal biscuits cooked atop a cobbler. Golden kernels can be sliced off the cob and used in relish, salsa, or succotash, fried up in fritters, and baked into cornbread or muffins. An argument can be made for the versatility of potatoes (another highlight of our fall issue!) but I’m beginning to think that corn trumps all. Take advantage of two of the season’s best ingredients by stuffing heirloom tomatoes with corn relish. Experiment with simple grilled or boiled corn on the cob by adding a glaze or a compound butter; the addition of chilies or a little lemon and thyme into a condiment can elevate this traditional dish to new and exciting realms.
September is my favorite month, in part because the balance of the seasons seems to hang in the air—the motion of change momentarily suspended. We are invited to slow down and savor the final days of summer accompanied by just the hint of crisp fall air and to enjoy the bounty of the harvest, of which sweet corn is such a beautiful example.
So get out there and find your own way of celebrating the season of sweet corn. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start with that pizza. Look for the issue on newsstands now, or subscribe today!