I thought I’d tried every way there was to cut the kernels off an ear of corn. I braced the ears in a Bundt pan and sunk them into a deep bowl; I held them horizontally and I held them vertically. I even tested out some of those single-task corn-slicing tools, none of which did any better than a cutting board and a knife. But until I saw Samantha Seneviratne’s new recipe for creamy one-pot orzo with corn and bacon, it had never occurred to me to pull out the box grater.
Samantha makes the persuasive case that grating the corn down to the cob helps release all its milky pulp, which in turn thickens and sweetens a pot of orzo dappled with bacon, chile paste and basil. Pro tip: Wear an apron when grating.
If you have any corn left over (grated or still on its ears), you could save it for Yewande Komolafe’s delightful shrimp tacos. Not that they need it: The combination of spiced, succulent shrimp with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and guacamole piled into warmed tortillas is perfect all on its own (or maybe alongside a scoop of Rick Martínez’s creamy, porky refried beans). But a handful of juicy corn kernels would lend the dish a summery vibe that celebrates these last few weeks of the season.
Or maybe you’ve had enough of summer and are yearning for soup season. Ali Slagle’s citrusy lentil and sweet potato soup is coziness in a pot, a light yet hearty mix where chard pulls double duty: The leaves go into the fragrant broth, and the crunchy stems are lightly pickled to garnish the dish.
Welcome in every season, dessert can be Genevieve Ko’s butter mochi, which I once made with a bit of fresh lime juice and zest in the glaze instead of passion fruit, as suggested in one of your notes. NYT Cooking readers are a constant inspiration!
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The Easiest (and Quickest) Creamed Corn
Getting back to our corn, I made the most delicious creamed corn a few weeks ago and it was so easy I’m kicking myself for not having made it all summer long (this will be rectified next year). Cut or grate the kernels from two large ears of corn, making sure to scrape the milky pulp as well, and add them to a pan with half a cup of cream or half-and-half. Let everything simmer until the corn is tender and swimming in velvety sauce (about 10 minutes). Season to taste with salt, nutmeg, hot sauce, herbs, crumbled feta, you name it. Then try not to stand over the pan and eat it all by yourself. It’s harder than you think.