Friday, 22 August 2014

Recipe: Corn on the Cob With Chili Lime Butter

You may have noticed at the market this past week that corn, fresh in from the fields at Riverbend Gardens and the Holden Hutterite Colony, has finally arrived. Great big sacks of it were piled high on the tables or heaped to overflowing in large storage crates.

Unfortunately, corn isn't one of those super foods that's packed with so many nutrients that it makes nutritionists' Top 100 lists, and that lies more in the fact that it is packed with starch. Like the starch in potatoes, the starch in corn quickly becomes sugar in the digestive process, and is responsible for spiking blood glucose levels. That being said, it is important to note that there really are no bad vegetables. Corn does have vitamins C and A, good amounts of B-vitamnis, potassium, magnesium and iron. It may not be a nutrition superstar, but like anything, used in moderation, corn can still be part of a healthy diet.

Normally, we think of fruits as being the candy of the healthy eating world... but corn is a vegetable that deserves that status as well. Each plump, light yellow kernel is packed with sweetness and literally pops in your mouth when it is fresh in from the field and when its kernels are not too ripe and over mature. This week's corn that I took home to my family from the market was perfect!

Peaches & Cream corn is one of my favourites, with its tasty,
sweet  and distinctive cream and yellow coloured kernels.
Pete Luckett, author of the Greengrocer's Kitchen, offers this advice when selecting your ears of corn from the pile that heaps on the market table: When choosing corn, go for heavy, sweet-smelling ears with tight green husks and fresh-looking, golden silks.If you can peel back the husks, kernels should be small but plump, shiny and packed tightly. Small-kernel corn is usually sweeter and more tender than corn with large kernels, which can be a sign of age and therefore toughness. And avoid any ears with dimpled kernels, which indicates age and starchiness To store, leave the husks in place and wrap the ears with a damp paper towel.Store it in plastic bags in the refrigerator, and please cook it within two days at the most..

Corn season is always far too short! Blink, and you'll miss out on one of the best reasons to head to a farmers' market for your table!

corn on the cob with chill lime butter
The lime juice is tricky to stir in, but keep working it!
Granted, sweet corn at the end of the summer is absolutely delicious with nothing more than butter and salt. But this chill lime butter will put a refreshing twist on this summer classic, particularly if paired with a cold lager with ice (yes, ice cubes) and lime. With the sun beating down, the citric zing of the lime wedge adds punch and the slight addition of water from the ice doesn't compromise the taste... and more importantly, it keeps your beer cold to the last drop!

By using jalepeƱos that are thick walled and juicy, you will
cut the spiciness of this recipe down so that even the
pickiest of eaters will enjoy its crunch and taste.
serves 4
1/4c. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. finely minced shallots or chives
1 tsp. minced Thai or serano chili peppers (or jalepeƱo, if you don't like too much heat), including the seeds
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 ears of corn, husked and cleaned

In a bowl, combine the butter, shallot or chives, chill, lime zest, lime juice and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before using. (Make ahead: Place butter in plastic wrap and roll into a log and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 3 months.)

Spicy peppers come in all levels of heat
from mild to searingly hot
In a large pot of boiling, unsalted water, cook the corn until tender, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, remove corn from the water and, while still hot, spread with the chill lime butter.

where can you find ingredients at our market?
Chili Lime Butter Recipe from Earth to Table, by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann
Nutritional information from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., and The Greengrocer's Kitchen, by Pete Luckett
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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee

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