From East coast to West, everyone loves end-of-summer corn on the cob. Every family has its own tradition for how to enjoy the season’s bounty. There are recipes for grilled, steamed, boiled and even (as I recently discovered) microwaved corn. Here are some of our favorite tried-and-true tricks for enjoying this savory treat.Cooking methods:
Boil: Using a pot large enough to hold all your corn, fill it 2/3 with water. Bring water to a rapid boil. Once the water is boiling, shuck corn and immediately add to the pot. Boil 2-6 minutes—longer if you like corn extra-soft.
Grill: Throw unshucked corn on the grill and rotate every few minutes for about 14 minutes, or until corn appears deeply charred all the way around. If desired, carefully pull back corn husks and pull out the silk, then fold the husks back over. Soak the corn in cold water for 15 minutes before grilling; the husks will char and add a smoky flavor, the soaking will prevent them from burning and help the corn steam inside.
Steam: Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large pot. Fill pot with two inches of cold water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, shuck corn, add ot the basket and replace lid. Steam about 10 minutes. This method is even better as a one-pot meal - make it a crab and corn boil!
Microwave: Microwave unshucked corn for 2-3 minutes. Add an extra minute for each additional ear. Be careful when you remove the husk and silk—the corn will be hot!
And if you're lucky enough to find farm-fresh corn, enjoy it straight from the husk without cooking it at all!
Toppings: Old bay seasoning, cheese, including grated Parmesan, feta or manchego, or a classic mix of butter and salt. For a flavored butter, mash roughly chopped herbs (basil is my favorite!) with softened butter. And for Mexican-style corn, rub each cob in lime, butter and cojito (Mexican cheese).
Cool Trick: To avoid the mess of using an entire stick of butter to dress your corn, simply rub a buttered slice of break onto each cob. And voila! You'll have perfectly slathered corn and warm buttered bread, mess free.