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try this fabulous recipe we did for WHEEL&BARROW click here

and we also love their funky corn cutter, but take care because it is very, very sharp!



When we were children my Mum always grew corn and despite all of the extravagant spectacular dining experiences since that time her just picked corn, steamed and smothered in butter and pepper and salt remains in my top 10 dining experiences. We rolled the munched cobs through any remaining butter and sucked noisily on their sweet juicy centres. Oddly our tuna and sweet corn mornay was always made with canned corn. For some idiotic reason it never occurred to us that fresh corn could be cut from the cob and that nasty slightly tinny taste eliminated. Years later in the kitchen of American chef Paul Prudhomme’s K–Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen it was a revelation to see them rip back the husk, brush away the silk and slice the corn from the cob.
Corn has always been fashionable with me, but has suddenly made its way back onto restaurant menus in a very big way and of course via that into home kitchens again. You can even buy a nifty gadget to cut corn from the cob that gets very close to the cob and catches all the sweet corn nubs without attacking the cob itself. Nature has made the husk on corn for a very specific reason to stop the kernels from drying out, so when you buy corn don’t buy the cobs where the corn is exposed, the moment you remove the outer husk the corn starts to dry out.
Young and tender sweet corn is as delicious raw as it is cooked. Simplicity itself there is nothing better than corn cooked in salted water (or steamed) and smothered in garlicky butter dusted with flaky sea salt and finished with freshly ground pepper.
Sweet corn and maize whilst from the same family are very different eating. Polenta is made from maize and the cobs are inedible in the raw state for anything other than animal fodder. Corn oil comes from maize and whilst excellent to cook with and considered very healthy it has doubled in price in the last two years due to the bio–fuel that is made from it. The American Cajuns have found a million delicious uses for sweet corn and it would be hard to imagine a Gumbo without it. Imagine Chinese food without corn, be it the proverbial baby corn that is more texture than taste or the rich velvety sweet corn and chicken soup with threads of egg and hints of white pepper. Imagine Mexican food without it! Yet, curiously in those countries where maize products such as polenta are very popular, sweet corn, as we Australians love it is infrequently eaten. Corn like pumpkin is regarded as pig fodder. We have the feeling that these rigid culinary traditions mean they are missing our big time and some very great eating!

for perfect polenta click here

Corn Pancakes
makes 16 pancakes about 10cm

10g fresh yeast
50g caster sugar
100ml milk, luke warm
2 whole extra large (61g) eggs
1 extra large egg yolk
150g plain flour
125g coarse polenta
2 pinches of salt
the corn cut from 2 cobs
ghee for frying

Method
Put the yeast, sugar and milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk together, add the eggs, then flour, polenta, corn and salt and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic and stand in a warm place until it has doubled in volume. Fry kitchen spoonfuls in ghee until golden on both sides. A terrific change with wet dishes instead of rice and potato we love them with devilled kidneys but they also make and excellent embellishment for vegetarian dishes and are great with bacon poached eggs and sautéed spinach for breakfast.

Mexican Oysters, mango chilli and corn salsayou’ll need to save this one for the start of the oyster season at the end of March, we just can’t wait!
serves 4

4 dozen freshly opened South Australian oysters
4 cups of cheap rock salt
2 Thai chillies, finely chopped
50ml your favourite extra virgin
1 lime, grated rind and strained juice
2 corncobs, cleaned and corn cut from the cobs
1 mango, peeled and diced into about 3mm cubes (use green mango fine julienne if ripe mangoes are out of season)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 small bunch of coriander, washed, roots removed and leaves roughly chopped
white pepper and salt to taste

Divide the rock salt between four plates and sit the oysters firmly in the salt. Mix everything together and spoon a little on top of each oyster.


Cooking corn
Using a large knife (a Chinese cleaver or large cooks knife) cut off a little of the stalk end. Working from the top, pull back the husk and pull it off. With a wet cloth rub away the corn silk. The corn can then be cut from the cob or the cobs can be boiled or steamed whole or cut into pieces.
Cook the corn in boiling salted water for 20 minutes. We love extra virgin but there is nothing better than butter with corn and the perfect mix is butter, garlic, a little chilli, salt and freshly ground black pepper. We also recently ate a wonderful Kingfish special at Red Ochre Grill; the kingfish skin had been prepared in salt and sugar and cooked up crunchy crisp, the fish still moist and tender an it came sitting on top of sautéed spinach laced with fresh corn and came swimming in a silken fragrant sweet corn veloute… …nice!

Add corn kernels to your favourite Thai salad or for that matter any salad. Try making tabouleh and adding fresh corn to the mix instead of tomato for a new dimension to the flavour and texture spectrum. If you are lucky enough to own a MyCook or Thermomix, make a gorgeous fabulous and fast corn soup. For two people start with some butter, sauté a little chopped shallot, maybe a clove or two or organic garlic, with salt and white pepper until it has lost all rawness, add the corn kernels from three cobs and cover with chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes at 90°C, puree and serve. If you have any poached chicken to hand add some shredded chicken meat and we also like a little fresh chilli. At the end of 2009 we saw corn shoots for the first time. They were sweet and delicious with a lovely corn taste that added another dimension to our corn salads and then they vanished from the market place. We are expecting their imminent return so watch out for them. Replace some of the leaf component in your salads with them they are gorgeous. Just one thing you need to do and that is cut about 1cm from the stalk end before using them straight from the box they come in. We found this last part of the stalk to be unpleasantly bitter.
The other dish that we always make in the corn season is duck and prawn gumbo, the classic Cajun dish that falls into this season because fresh okra is also available. It is a lot of work, a dish from poor people with many hands to cut and chop but worth the effort and the classic wine match for the soft sweet chilli laced stew is Zinfandel another reason to make the effort because matches for Zin are harder to find.