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The first 25 years of my life, I ate fresh corn just one way: It was shucked, boiled until tender and slathered with butter. And while that’s a delicious way to handle the sweet corn of summer, I’ve learned during the last decade that there are many other ways to do it justice.
It was a batch of grilled corn that first opened my eyes to corn’s flexibility. I was at a cookout and a friend set shucked and lightly oiled cobs on a hot barbecue and kept turning them until the kernels were speckled and golden. Topped with mayonnaise and a little grated cheese, it was transcendentally good.
Once the corn floodgates were open, it was a quick trip to corn salads, salsas and chowders. Really, the only thing I’ve not done with corn is make jelly from the corncobs (a traditional Southern preserve).
This summer, the corn has been particularly abundant, and we’ve been getting a dozen or more ears each week at our farm share pickup. I’ve done every one of my regular preparations, and still, there’s more. Happily, I’ve recently discovered another recipe to add to my repertoire. It’s Bobby Flay’s Creamed Corn Succotash with Cotija, and I can’t stop eating it.
It’s a happy marriage of corn, edamame, sweet onions, a little tomato, cilantro and crumbly cotija cheese. I made it once as a side dish for grilled sausages and have plans to do it again for an upcoming potluck. It’s the perfect thing for later summer dining and The Weekender.
Before you start cooking, read these tips:
— If you have a Bundt pan, pull it out to help you cut the corn off the cob. Fit the tip of the cob into the center hole and slice. The kernels should fall easily into the pan.
— This recipe doubles nicely, which makes it good for crowds and large parties.
— For a Bobby Flay recipe, this dish is shockingly free of spice. If you’d like it to have a little kick, add in a seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.