NO FOIL, WITH HUSK RECIPE
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What is one summer produce that suffers from multiple personality order, not disorder (because it is of a good kind)? It is the 10,000 year old crop – CORN, also known as MAIZE. Why the multiple personality?? Because some consider it to be a vegetable, some fruit & some think of it as a grain. The correct answer is D, all of the above. It is a grain, a vegetable, as well as a fruit.
Sweet corn, whether white or yellow, is so crisp and soft that you can cut it straight from the cob and add to meals without cooking. Sweet, fresh corn is a popular addition to salads, soups, and pastas in the summer. This popular produce is extensively used for grilling, boiling, and microwaving. But here’s a cooking method that blows them all out of the water. It’s not only simple and easy to make, but it also tastes as corn should: sweet bursts of golden yellow kernel.
This method of oven roasting corn on the cob, keeps the taste intact & the final product turns out to be extremely healthy. There is no need to brine or pre-soak the corn in water before roasting. All the hydration needed for the kernels to soften & cook, comes from the moisture in the husk & silks.
This technique incorporates the use of the beautiful natural envelope, mother nature provided the corns with. I am referring to the layers of soft green husks wrapped around the yellow kernels along with soft silk sandwiched between the two.
Our technique forgoes of the foil. As we have mentioned time & again, Aluminum leaches onto the food it is cooked with & is NOT the metal our bodies need. We just need Fe (Iron), in our bodies. If foil is required for any recipe, use parchment paper in place of foil!
NOTE – This is a very basic recipe. I use this recipe when we have the plans to use dry rubs like Taijin powder, Cajun/ creole seasoning, Indian chaat masala, paprika powder etc., on the roasted corn. For recipes that involve using butter, the husks will be removed before corn is basted with butter.
ORIGIN OF THE EXPRESSION: “EAR OF THE CORN”
As always this article would be incomplete if we didn’t touch on the history of the subject. My research on oven roasted corn on the cob, took me to the most odd & commonly used expression – “an ear of the corn”. We call a banana “a banana”, a potato “a potato”, a cauliflower “a cauliflower”. We however, call a cob of corn “an ear of the corn”. Who on earth thought of this very peculiar expression??
The expression comes from a gifted Italian surrealist artist Giuseppe Arcimbaldo (1527-1593) who did a painting titled “Summer” in 1573. This Italian painter, also worked as a draftsman and tapestry designer. He is best known for creating imaginative portrait heads composed entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.
He painted representations of these objects on the canvas in a rather unique way. The whimsical & fascinating collection of mundane objects formed a distinguishable likeness of the subject of the portrait. Below is the Italian food art from which the expression “ear of the corn” is derived. Please pay close attention to the “EAR”!!
Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob with Husk
- 4 – 6 ears of corn
- Knob of butter to use after cobs are roasted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Leave the corn on the cob with its husks and silks attached.
- Arrange the corn lengthwise, on the middle rack of the oven.
- Leave at least 1 inch space between the cobs.
- (Alternatively, you can also place cobs on baking sheets before placing them in the oven.)
- Roast for 30 minutes. Remove a cob and pull back the husks just enough to test for doneness using a knife; the corn should have swollen shiny kernels with a few browned ones too.
- Remove the corn from the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Wrap a kitchen towel around the base of a corn cob to hold it without getting burned as the husks retain some heat.
- Pull back the husks and silks at the same time; they will come off very easily.
- Let the corn come down to warm temperature before serving.
- Serving a huge batch during a party?? Turn off the oven once the cobs are done. Set the oven temperature to 170°F and keep the cobs in there to keep warm, till ready to serve.
- Use toppings like with butter, lemon, taijin powder, chaat masala etc. to serve alongside corn.
- To turn it into a vegan recipe, just use Miyoko’s vegan butter, easily available at all grocery stores.
- Try this great tip: Before putting the corn in the oven to roast, make a batch of compound butter. You can use herbs, spices, or nuts to make different kinds of compound butter. Use compound butter of your choice to serve with the corn.
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