Creamed Summer Corn 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Jul 14, 2010

The best way to achieve nirvana here is to use the best ingredients available. Pull back a bit of the corn husks and smell the kernels; they should smell like sweet corn, not green or overly vegetal. The butter should taste fresh.


Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 ears super-sweet white or yellow corn, shucked (see NOTE)
  • 1 large lime
  • 3 tablespoons best-quality unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, preferably from thin stems

Directions

Use a sharp chef's knife to cut vertically down each ear of corn, slicing off the kernels. Place the kernels in a large bowl, then hold each cob over the bowl and use a spoon or the back of a knife to scrape any remaining corn and milk from each cob.

Use a Microplane grater to zest the lime, being careful not to include any pith. Cut the lime in half.

Melt the butter in a very large skillet (more than 12 inches across) or saute pan over medium heat. Add the corn; squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the corn and season with salt to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes; the kernels should remain plump-looking yet any liquid in the skillet or pan should be evaporated.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the cream; add the cayenne and the lime zest. Mix well and cook for a few minutes, until the mixture appears slightly thickened yet the corn is still looking plump. Add up to 1/4 cup cream as desired for a creamier consistency.

Season with salt to taste; stir in the chives. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm.

NOTE: To remove any remaining corn silk, place the just-cut corn kernels in a very large mixing bowl. Set a large bowl of water next to it. Swish your hand through the corn in a circular motion; the silk should stick to your hand. Rinse your hand in the adjacent bowl to remove the silk.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from chef Thomas Keller's "Ad Hoc at Home," with Dave Cruz, Susie Heller, Michael Ruhlman and Amy Vogler (Artisan, 2009).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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