Tag Archives: corn

World’s Best Corn on the Cob

Every summer, when the amazing fields in the area produce the most amazing vegetables, I imagine all sorts of delicious ways to devour them.  The recipes are in all of the popular magazines and newspaper food sections.  But then, year after year, I find that simply grilling the veggies and not adding anything beyond the occasional splash of balsamic is really the best.  No need to add cheese of this or that sort.  No desire to try the lovelies in casseroles.  Just grill the veggies lightly and let the natural flavors speak for themselves.  Mmmmm.

Until now.   This recipe may sound odd.    Ok, it does sound odd.  Mayo on corn?  But trust me on this one.  Your mouth will do the happy dance when you eat the world’s best corn on the cob concoction ever!

World’s Best Corn on the Cob

serves 8


  • 6 TBS mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 8 ears of fresh corn
  • 2 limes, quartered


Short version: mix first 4 ingredients, grill corn, schmear corn with mayo mix, roll in cotija cheese, serve with lime for squeezing on the corn.

Explicit version:

  1. Stir together mayonnaise, garic, salt and cayenne until well combined.  Crumble cheese onto a dinner plate.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium heat.  Carefully pull back the husks of the corn, remove the silks. and pull the husks back up.  Put the corn on the grill, turning every 10 minutes and moving the cobs on the grill so they each cook evenly.  When the corn is cooked, about 30 minutes, remove from the grill and set aside until just cool enough to handle.
  3. Pull back the husks so they create a handle for the corn cob, using a brush or your hands, cover each cob with a light coat of the mayonnaise mixture then roll in the crumbled cheese.
  4. Serve with lime to squeeze onto the cobs.
  • If you can get your hands on some Brentwood Sweet Corn, use that!
  • For this photo, the corn was grilled straight on the grill.  I do that whenever I need to cook quite a bit.
  • Photo taken at Farmers’ Daughter in Brentwood, California,  after delivering enough of this corn for their amazing staff.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Creamed Corn and Basil

Back in the recess of my mind, when conjuring up the basics for this blog, I figured that summer would take the cake.  You know, the endless visits to farm stands, the delicious dishes made from local foods, the interesting farmers to chat with.  And I do make endless trips to the farm stands and secretly feel sorry for those not as fortunate.  And I do make delicious dishes, but most tend to be slicing the veggies, adding perhaps some good salt and pepper, maybe cooking them quickly on the grill.  And the farmers are great, but they are in the midst of a crazy selling season and are just trying to keep their wits about them.   My mantra, especially in the summer, is “start with the best and don’t mess it up.”  While I don’t have full time foragers like Alice Waters, I do live just down the road from several of her favorite purveyors.  Living large while living local is so possible in my humble abode.

And then I saw this recipe that combined creamed corn with fresh tomatoes.  Perhaps Dante had a special level of hell for that.  But I read, I considered, I adapted, and I was convinced.  Consider this a substantial side dish, or a perfect main a bit of bread.

Corn and heirloom tomatoes from Smith Family Farms

Adapted from a recipe printed in The Week

Creamed Corn with Brie, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts


2 ears corn shucked, kernels removed

1/3 cup heavy cream

3 TBS brie, rind removed

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

fresh basil, sliced


1.  Combine corn kernels and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Uncover, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes.  Stir in brie cheese and pepper and cook until sauce thickens, about 5 more minutes.

2.  For each serving, start with a tomato slice, top with 2 TBS creamed corn, top with another tomato slice and more creamed corn.  Garnish with pine nuts and basil.


  • Be sure to get a bit of basil in each bite!
  • The original recipe called for Gorgonzola for a “funky flavor that worked well” but I didn’t want anything that would complete with the corn and tomato, hence the brie.
  • Now I’m looking for a savory main to dress with this creamed corn.

Pickled Corn Relish

We’ve got corn coming out of our ears, and  no one is complaining.  Grilled corn, boiled corn, corn in casseroles and soups, corn on the cob and corn off the cob are all welcome when Brentwood Sweet Corn is in season.  Everyday we see corn fields that have been harvested and plowed, waiting for next year.  This local treat will run its course soon so we’re enjoying it as often as possible.

Corn tends to be a side dish, so when I spotted a recipe for corn relish in the San Francisco Chronicle, I was ready to give it a go.  There is a pickling process here, but do note that the resulting relish is still pretty sweet.  While not thrilled with this on some grilled chicken, the relish was quite tasty with a simple fish fillet and it was simply fantastic on a sheboygan sausage in a hoagie roll.   And while I’m generally not a relish type of person, this was nice on hand in the summer when simple grilled foods are the common theme at dinner time.  Oh, and don’t tell anyone, but a quarter cup of this stuff makes a nice little snack when no one is looking.  But let’s just keep that between us.

Corn and red bell pepper from The Farmer’s Daughter farm stand.

Pickled Corn Relish

adapted from the Pickled Pepper and Corn Relish recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle


1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large red peppers, seeded and diced
Kernels from 4 ears of corn
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1.  Bring the vinegar, sugar, water, oregano, and cumin to a low boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
2.  Heat the oil in a skillet, add the peppers, season with salt cook for 4 minutes or until the peppers just start to soften.  Add garlic and corn to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.  Transfer corn mixture to a non reactive bowl, pour in the liquid and mix gently.  Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  Will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.


  • I cut back on the sugar in the original recipe, yet it was still sweeter than the term “pickled” implies.
  • This makes a ton of relish!  Next time I’ll cut the recipe in half.
  • While cooking the corn for just a bit is needed, I want to try this without cooking the red bell peppers, just to cut back on the sweetness.

Snapper with Spinach Pesto and Corn Salad

spinach pesto and corn salad

Greetings once again!  Do know, you have not been forgotten in any way, but amazing projects at work have me coming home late every evening, followed by research and writing papers for a set of classes I’m taking.  Currently I’m in survival mode, which means … time to cook!

Spinach pesto has been on my mind since I read it in someone’s blog awhile back.  In looking for a balanced, light meal, some spinach pesto over whatever fish looked good that day sounded like a good plan.  Has anyone seen the Ask Aida show on FN?  While the format is a bit odd for my preference, she is someone who comes across as trustworthy and the calmness of the show is welcome these days.  Turns out she has a corn salad recipe, so I gave it a go.  Good decision making on this meal all around!

Spinach pesto

5 oz pkg baby spinach

2 handfuls pine nuts

2 limes, juiced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste


1.  Put the spinach, lime juice, pine nuts and garlic in a food process or and pulse until smooth.  Add olive oil and parmesan cheese and process a few seconds.  Taste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Corn Salad

For the dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

  • 4 ears cooked corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 2 medium avocados, diced


Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, using 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Pan fried snapper:

Heat a pan over medium heat until nice and hot.  Add 1 TBS oil, and let warm.  Add snapper.  Flip after one minute, or when fish is opaque a bit on the bottom edges.  Cook for one minute.  Turn off the heat and allow fish to finish cooking with the residual heat for about 4 more minutes.


* The pesto is meant to be very spinachy and not very garlicky.  If you just can’t handle that notion, just double the garlic as you always do.  (You know who you are!)

* It was a warm day meaning that the pesto likely required less oil, so I stopped adding olive oil just when the first little puddle of oil gathered on top of the spinach.  Lately, I’m just not into pesto that is crazy oily.

*  I cut the snapper into portion sizes before cooking to make the flipping part easier.

* Corn salad of various sorts is a common dish around here during corn season, but the addition of fresh mozzerella was a new twist for me.  Yummy!

September Sights

….lots of this.







… and still a little bit of that.

Potato Skins with Tomato and Corn Salsa

Perfect summer dinner meal here! We’re trying to do the eating local thing at our house as much as possible for oh, so many reasons. At this time of year, even with the asparagus and strawberry fields preparing for next year, the bounty of delicious food in our area is simply divine. I wonder how this optimism will hold up during carrot and onion season. *grin*

This recipe is from The Vegetarian Cookbook (the practical guide to preparing and cooking delicious vegetarian meals) edited by Nicola Graimes. I’ve used this cookbook several times and like it for the beautiful pictures and clear directions. So often you have to choose between the quality of those two, but this book has been dependable in both. I selected this recipe for 2 very clear reasons: Potatoes (oh yeah, I am a potato ho!), and “salsa.” Tomato salsa, veggie salsa, pepper salsa, fruit salsa …. everything is better with salsa!!!

While I don’t usually turn on the oven at this time of year, the outside temperature was down to the 80’s this evening, so I did go for the broiler for just a few minutes. Also, the original recipe calls for baked potatoes, and while the skins on baked potatoes are clearly more yumm-a-licious than those from the microwave, there was just no chance that the oven was going to be on in this house for that long!


4 red potatoes

corn kernels from one grilled cob

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced

2 shallots, finely sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 red jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

3 TBS cilantro

olive oil

1 TBS lime juice

cheddar cheese, grated

salt and pepper

lime wedges for garnish


1. Bake or microwave potatoes, slice in half, scoop out most of the flesh. (Sure, you can snack on this while making the dish!)

2. Combine corn, tomatoes, shallots, red bell pepper, chili, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix together well.

3. Preheat the broiler.

4. Brush the insides of the potato skins with olive oil and put under the broiler for 3 minutes.

5. Spoon salsa into the potato skins and sprinkle with just a bit of cheese over the top. Return the filled potato skins to the broiler and cook until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.

6. Squeeze a little lime juice on top of each potato skin, and serve with an extra wedge of lime.

Side note: for those of you who like to play “What’s different in these 2 pictures?” in the Sunday comics, you may note a missing item in the background of this picture. What is missing?

Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

Do you have a “go to” recipe or two that you can just pull out of your hat at any time? This little ditty is one of my “go to” recipes. I do cringe a bit at even calling it a recipe as it is really more of a gentle guide. For me, these items are always at the ready in the fridge and pantry, making it all the easier to whip together quickly. I hesitate to label this as a salad, and it is probably more often served as a chunky dip with corn tortilla chips, and has even been used as a side dish. My friend J has been asking me to post this one ever since our families devoured a bowl of it on her back deck recently. So, here you go!

First, the guidelines to match the preparation in the photo, then I’ll give you the inside scoop on the easy variations and how to avoid going overboard.

One key here is the grilled corn. While there are several methods for grilling corn – smoky grill or gas, husks on or off, high heat or low – for this dish, I always go for the grilled on a gas grill, husks off, high heat, about 3 minutes between turns of the corn. It does make some of the corn a bit charred, but it is really good that way. And I know that you can butter your corn, fold the husks back up, tie it with a bit of twine and toss it on the grill, but butter is not what you are looking for here. At this time of year I tend to grill up an extra cob or 2 when I’m cooking dinner, as I find it any extras a perfect snack the next day. Also, with the temperatures here over 100 the past few days, our stove and oven are totally off limits for cooking!


1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cobs grilled corn, kernels cut from the cob

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 avocado, cubed

juice of 1 lime

olive oil (optional)




1. Toss the beans and corn into a bowl. Top with tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. This dish is best with a little salt on the tomatoes, but I’m not a fan of salted black beans, hence the order of added ingredients. Mix.

2. Add avocado, lime juice, and just a bit of olive oil (if desired). Mix gently.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Always use 1 can of black beans to 2 cobs of grilled corn.

From that point, select any 2 (just 2, really, I’ve tried more and the basic flavors get lost and you will end up more with an odd succotash kind of thing)

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 3 or so sliced green onions, including greens

My favorite? black beans, grilled corn, avocado, and cilantro, munched down with tortilla chips. Yum!