On Sunday he asked me, “How was the corn you had yesterday for lunch, when I wasn’t here?” I said it was getting a little mature. He said, “Oh, I guess I better freeze the rest of it.” I had no idea how much was still up there. I’m not sure he did, either. He didn’t start harvesting corn until after lunch. While he was up there, five people left to go pick blackberries. Three people were called to help neighbors bring in their hay.
He brought down three big laundry baskets full of corn; two of them held shucked corn. He’ll be cutting the kernels off the ears after they’re blanched, in preparation for freezing. The six-year-old and the eight-year-old will husk the last basket of corn. I get blanching duty:
- Weigh out 5 pounds corn ears.
- Put into 5 gallons boiling water
- Set timer for 6 minutes
- Fill 13 quart bowl with ice water
- Weigh out another 5 pounds of corn
- Remove first batch of corn with tongs into strainer
- Dump into ice water
- Set second timer for 6 minutes
- Put next batch of corn into boiling water
- See number 3
- When second timer beeps, remove corn from ice water and bring to the guy with the knife, who will cut corn and put it into quart freezer bags
- Continue with number 4 until all corn is done, or madness sets in.
(If you’re smart, you’ll lay towels on the floor in the prime dripping locations.)
We didn’t count how many quart bags went into the freezer. But 6 cups cut kernels went into that night’s Cheddar Chicken Chowder (recipe below). Plus we had about 2 dozens ears for supper. Plus he gave away an additional 2 laundry baskets of unhusked corn to our friends.
That was the first variety. Now the second variety is ready to eat.
Cheddar Chicken Chowder
I originally found this in Cooking Light. It is a low-fat recipe that “doesn’t taste low-fat.”
2 bacon slices
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast — cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper — (1 large)
2 garlic cloves — minced
4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 3/4 cups diced peeled red potatoes — (I use the French-fry disk of the food processor)
2 1/4 cups corn kernels
1/2 cup flour
2 cups 2% low-fat milk
3 ounces cheddar cheese — shredded (3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cut up chicken. Peel potatoes. Peel garlic. Peel onions and cut in chunks. Core peppers and cut in 1″ pieces. Mince garlic in food processor. Chop onion and red pepper in food processor. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to bacon fat in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut potatoes with French Fry disk of food processor. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. While potatoes are cooking, grate cheese. Add corn; stir well. Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon. (I mix the bacon in as it is too hard to sprinkle on so many bowls.)
Serves 7; Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
The Best Corn Casserole
This is not low-fat, but I don’t care. The only time I make it is to bring to covered dish suppers. It is tons better than what passes for scalloped corn in my husband’s family.
1 pound bacon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 medium onion — chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 red pepper — chopped
1 green pepper — chopped
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups sour cream
2 pounds fresh corn kernels — *see Note
salt — to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Heat the oven to 350º. Cook the bacon, then chop it into bite-size pieces and set it aside. Melt the butter in large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery, and peppers until soft. Stir in the flour, then the sour cream, until well combined. Add the corn and most of the bacon bits and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish and sprinkle on the remaining bacon bits and parsley. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned.