If You Grow it, (Corn) They Will Come...and a Recipe
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If You Grow it, (Corn) They Will Come…and a Recipe

Growing up in the Midwest, seeing field upon field upon field of corn was not unusual. In fact, not only was it the norm, but many of my friends has their first jobs in the corn fields. They shucked. And shucked. And shucked. Working conditions included minimum wage, early hours and hot summer days. Payoff? All the fresh Illinois corn they could eat.

While one can argue that corn and corn derivatives are found in nearly every processed, partially processed, semi processed food and food item on the market, nothing but goodness can be said about the fresh ear itself.

Chances are, you’ve had fresh corn in the last 5-7 days. It’s exciting-those first ears of the season-grilled, boiled, steamed or microwaved to enhance the sweet perfection that is, in fact, summer corn. Butter, salt, pepper, cayenne and the like. Me? I like it bare naked. That’s right. Nothing on it at all. Doesn’t need it. Don’t believe me? Try tasting the corn-au natural-BEFORE salting, buttering and seasoning it. Just try it. And let me know.

Now, come July, or maybe even August, I get a hankering for something other than the old cob. Still love the corn, of course, its just that one can only eat so many on the cob. Many will will argue that, I know. Good news is that there are endless recipes using corn…and now is the time to start building the repertoire. When the main ingredient is just pennies per serving, its time to stock up-put those 6 or 8 ears for 1.00 to good use now or freeze them for later.

Here’s one of my favorites..can be used as a side dish, a dip or a main entree. I like to add a handful of shrimp to make it a meal.

Robin’s Corn Salsa with Shrimp (or not)

Kernels of 4-5 fresh ears of corn ***
1 T canola oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 T of cumin
2 heaping T of jarred salsa
1/2-3/4 lb cooked shrimp (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, add oil and saute onions on medium high heat until translucent. Add garlic and stir. Add corn kernels. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add salsa and cumin and stir until warmed through. If adding shrimp, do so now and continue to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve cold, warm or at room temperature if used as a side dish or dip.
Serves 3-4 as a side dish (depending on the size of the cobs) or 2-3 as a main entree.

**** To remove kernels safely and easily, remove kernels from cob by cutting 1/2 inches off the top and bottom of the cob. Stand cob on one end in a bowl with a flat bottom to provide stability and remove kernels using the back of a knife. Be sure to capture the “milk” that comes from the cob, too.
*** to make dish thicker, add 1 small can of creamed corn just before adding salsa to recipe

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