Sweet-corn season is finally here and, unfortunately, it never lasts long.
Consider these possibilities:
Fresh Corn Omelette
“This combination of elements makes terrific scrambled eggs, too,” writes author Deborah Madison. “Grilled corn as well as fresh is excellent here, so keep that in mind if you happen to be grilling.” If using fresh rather than smoked mozzarella, dice cheese and let it rest on paper towels to release water, otherwise eggs will be watery. Madison suggests serving with toast and just-sliced tomatoes garnished with sea salt, olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. From Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison (Broadway Books, $27.50)
1 ear sweet corn, grilled or raw, kernels sliced off cob
2 to 3 fresh basil leaves, slivered
1 ounce grated smoked mozzarella
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
If using ungrilled corn, put kernels in a small skillet with a few tablespoons water over medium heat and simmer until tender and heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
For omelette: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with 1 tablespoon water. Stir in corn, basil and cheese, and season with a couple pinches of salt and some pepper. Wipe out pan.
Over medium heat, melt butter. When it foams, pour in egg mixture and give it a couple of quick stirs around pan. Cover pan with the plate you plan to eat from (it will warm it), reduce heat to low and cook eggs until pale gold on bottom.
Slide omelette onto plate, invert pan over it, grasp whole unit and flip it over.
Slide omelette back into pan and cook second side until it just sets, about 1 minute. Tip omelette into plate, add sliced tomato and serve.
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.
From The 150 Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens (Houghton Mifflin, $30).
3 to 4 ears sweet corn, husks and silk removed
2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal
2/3 cup loosely packed mixed freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, thyme, chives and basil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 large fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Place corn in a large pot, cover with water and cook over high heat. When water comes to a boil, remove from heat, drain and cool. When cool, cut kernels from ear, reserving kernels.
Core and roughly chop tomatoes. In a small bowl, toss them with olive oil, season with salt to taste and reserve.
In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water and cream over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add butter, salt to taste and stir to melt butter.
Whisking constantly, add cornmeal in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whisk until all lumps disappear. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until polenta is thick and creamy, about 20 minutes.
Fold in corn, herbs and Parmesan.
Spoon into a heated serving bowl and top with tomatoes and any accumulated juice. Tear basil leaves into small pieces, sprinkle leaves over tomatoes and serve immediately.
The late Michael Roberts was the influential chef at the former Trumps in West Hollywood, Calif. and later at Twin Palms in Pasadena, Calif., which he owned with actor-director Kevin Costner. From Saveur Cooks Authentic American by the editors of Saveur magazine (Chronicle Books, $24.95).
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
3 cups (about 6 ears) fresh corn kernels
1 green onion, peeled and minced
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup freshly shelled peas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add corn and green onion and saute for about 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, increase heat to medium high and reduce liquid quickly until mixture thickens. Add cream and stir occasionally, reducing liquid again until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Transfer mixture to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse once or twice (the kernels should be broken but not pureed smooth).
Transfer mixture to an ovenproof baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in oven.
In a medium skillet over high heat, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter.
Add mushrooms and saute for 1 minute. Add peas and remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock, reduce heat to medium and reduce liquid until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
Fold mushroom mixture into corn, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.