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Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Here comes the local corn

By JANINE GILBERTSON July 18. 2017 10:35PM
Cobb-stuffed heirloom tomatoes look as good as they taste. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

If you frequent farmers’ markets or drive through a part of the state where there are working farms, then you may be aware that corn season is getting started.

I often drive past a little roadside farm stand on my way back to the Monadnock region. The other day, my eye caught a newly placed sign that said “N.H. Sweet Corn.” I pulled in immediately.

I love New Hampshire sweet corn. It’s a summer must-have. Over the years I’ve been guilty of buying way more corn than can be eaten at dinner or even at a barbecue. That being the case, I’ve come up with a few ways to use up all that sweet, delicious corn.

One thing I’ve been doing lately is roasting the ears with a little salt and butter, then cutting the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. It’s amazing how much corn you can get from just two ears; clearly a great value when you compare the cost to frozen or canned corn.

Roasted corn can be used in dozens of ways; I especially like it in a fresh salsa with some lime juice, black beans, purple onion, chopped tomatoes and lime juice. You can serve it with tortilla or pita chips or use it in tacos with some roast chicken for dinner.

If you like Cobb salads and can get your hands on some big, firm, fresh heirloom tomatoes, you can hollow the tomato out and stuff it full of the salad mix. Garnish it with some avocado and bacon bits and you have an easy meal in an edible bowl.

Leftover roasted corn can be added to a packaged corn bread mixture. Although cornbread is easy enough to make from scratch, Jiffy’s recipe is reliable and has been around since the 1930s, so it’s practically foolproof. Add a little sour cream and roasted corn to the mixture and you will have a delicious, moist corn bread to serve with dinner.

Of course, leftover roasted corn can be frozen too. Pack the kernels into a zip-close plastic freezer bag and lay it flat in the freezer. It will be available when summer is gone, the farm stands are long closed and a chill has settled in over the Granite State. A blast of fresh-frozen local corn will bring a little reminder of summer to your dinner table.

Roasted Corn

5 ears of corn, husks removed

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 F. 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the corn on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, turning each ear to coat. Dot ears with butter, then sprinkle with salt. 

Roast the corn for about 5 minutes, then turn the corn over, rolling it in the melted butter to coat evenly. Return to oven and cook for five more minutes. Repeat turning and cooking until all sides begin to turn a golden brown and have a roasted appearance. 

Remove from oven to cool, then use a knife to remove kernels from the cob.

Cobb Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

2 large, firm heirloom tomatoes

2 cups kale, chopped

1/2 cup roasted corn kernels

2 tbsp blue cheese

2 tbsp crumbled bacon

2 tbsp blue cheese dressing

1/2 avocado, sliced

Sliced hard-boiled egg for garnish

Remove the top from each tomato. Use a spoon to scrape out the insides to create a hollow shell, then set the tomato aside. 

In a large bowl, add the kale, roasted corn and bacon and drizzle with blue cheese dressing, tossing well to coat. 

Spoon the kale mixture into the tomato, then sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with avocado and egg slices before serving.

Black bean and roasted corn salsa. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa

1 1/2 cups roasted corn

15 oz can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup purple onion, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 fresh lime

salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt to taste.

Packaged corn-bread mix goes to a better place with the addition of roasted corn kernels and sour cream. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Quick Corn Bread

2 boxes (8.5 oz each) Jiffy corn bread mix

2 eggs

2/3 c milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup roasted corn

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Add the corn bread mix, eggs, milk and sour cream to a large bowl and stir to combine. 

Place the corn in a food processor and pulse until corn appears roughly chopped, then fold the corn into the bread mix. 

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and fill with the corn bread mix. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and serve.


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