Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ad Hoc's Creamed Summer Corn

While trying to plan a meal around our Summer Crab Salad with Carrots, Basil, and Lime I decided that corn would be the perfect summery accompaniment.  It took me all of about 1 second once I came to that decision to make Thomas Keller's creamed corn from his Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.  I have been holding onto this recipe for MONTHS waiting for the perfect night and the perfect corn.  So this morning I went out and bought some local sweet corn from New Jersey.  And then I showed Alex what I wanted to make and we went to town.

ZOMG.  This creamed corn might be the best thing I have eaten all summer.  I don't even like creamed corn, but I decided that if Thomas Keller came up with the recipe it had to be good.  And it was.  Actually, it was better than good.  It was phenomenal - rich, flavorful, and sweet.  By sauteing the corn in butter and then in heavy cream for a total of 20-25 minutes you concentrate and intensify the natural sweetness of the corn until it is so intensely sweet and corny that it is almost mindblowing.  Then you get the hint of heat from the cayenne and the brightness from the lime zest and lime juice.  The corn absorbs almost all of the heavy cream so that it's not soupy and bland.  Instead everything comes together to form a rich, comforting, and amazingly complex dish (particularly given that the recipe only uses 7 ingredients).  If you like corn, you have to make this dish.  It is a revelation.  I promise.

Recipe after the jump!

Ad Hoc's Creamed Summer Corn
Ad Hoc at Home
By Thomas Keller

6 ears supersweet corn, shucked
1 large lime
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tbsp chives, finely chopped

With a sharp knife, cut vertically down each ear of corn to slice off the kernels. Put the kernels in a large bowl, then hold each cob over the bowl and use a spoon or the back of a knife to scrape any remaining corn and the milk from the cob.
Grate the zest of the lime, preferably with a microplane grater; set aside. Cut the lime in half.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the corn, squeeze about 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, or to taste, over the corn, and season with salt.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated, concentrating the flavour, and the corn is beginning to sizzle, 15 to 17 minutes.
Stir in ¾ cup cream, the cayenne, and lime zest. Continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cream is absorbed by the corn. Add up to ¼ cup more cream if desired for a creamier texture. Add salt to taste and stir in the chives.


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