Memorial Day weekend is upon us, the official beginning of summer–time to “officially” break out the grill. I’m a diehard outdoor person so my grill and smoker gets used year round no matter the weather. Usually my winter grilling is preceded by my hubby with the statement, “Isn’t it too cold to grill?” Never. I like the challenge of keeping the temperature of the grill or smoker just right combined with keeping me warm as well. Kind of like when I would drop the top on my old convertible on cold days and find the right mix of cold air and heat on my feet to make the ride enjoyable. Crazy, I know, but like I said, I’m an outdoor girl.
I may grill year round but there are some delicacies that I just can’t enjoy unless it is officially summer. Corn on the cob is one of them. Sure, corn can be bought year round, wrapped in foil and grilled, but it’s definitely not the same as summer corn. There is so much more flavor from corn when it is grilled in its own wrapper–the corn husk. This recipe is a pure and simple sweet corn sauce. No butter, no cream, just corn and corn cob stock. Remember when making Maque Choux? The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity and its versatility.Simple Grilled Corn Sauce: Shuck corn. Cut kernels off cob into a bowl. Set aside. Save the corn cob for the stock.
Corn Cob Stock: Now for those corn cobs. Similar to Shrimp Shell Stock but so much easier. Just put the cobs in a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover loosely with lid, and simmer for 1 hour, add in additional water, 1 cup at a time, if needed. Continue to simmer 1/2 -1 hour, the longer the more concentrated the flavor will be. The aroma of popcorn that will fill your kitchen is just lagniappe. Remove from heat.
Carefully add to a blender along with the kernels. If you would like, reserve some kernels for topping a dish. Puree until smooth. That’s it!
Serve this simple sauce with grilled chicken, fish, shrimp, or meat, fried catfish or chicken, salmon or crab cakes. Add sauce to hot pasta along with some pasta water for a creamy pasta sauce. Use this simple sauce as a rich and creamy base for soup and chowder, too. Not ready to use it? Freeze it!
Our favorite way is to enjoy the corn sauce is with blackened salmon over a bed of pasta!
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Let this simple corn sauce be a blank canvas. Think about corn dishes you enjoy and adjust flavors and seasonings accordingly. Breakfast? Add crumbled bacon to the sauce and top omelets. Snack? Rotel tomatoes added to sauce with cheese and jalapenos makes a quick corn dip. Like fried green tomatoes, try it with the sauce.
FOOD FUN: According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and I would think they know corn pretty well, a typical ear of corn has 800 kernels. When shelling your grilled corn, be thankful these are not the tools you are using. I would hate to have the job of washing them! These antiques are in the Emerald Village Museum in Little Switzerland, North Carolina.