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Corn Recipe and Information Corn-U-copia

Updated on November 17, 2011


Corn Summer-Time Good Eating!

The corn crop has hit big time here in New Mexico!

The traditional way to eat corn in the Midwest is to boil it and then butter and salt and pepper it. However, there are many more ways to enjoy this end of summer treat.

The fresher the corn the sweeter and most tender the kernels. In the Midwest and on the farm, we would not even pick the corn until the water was boiling on the stove!

I am from the so-called “Corn-Belt” of the USA. The states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, and Kentucky grow over 50% of the corn in the USA. Corn is used not only for human and animal food it produces fuel alcohol as well.

Corn (zea maize) was developed thousands of years ago in the area of what is now Central America. Corn was a major part of the diet of the native peoples. The corn tortilla is still widely consumed. Bags of milled corn called Masa are widely sold in New Mexico.

There are several types of corn.

~ Dent corn is the common field or horse corn. It is used for industrial products.

~ Flint corn is Indian corn and comes in many colors. This is mostly grown in central and South America. Popcorn is a form of Flint corn!

~ Sweet Corn is the product we grow in our gardens to make delicious ‘corn-on-the-cob,’ frozen, or canned corn. Just as the name portrays, it is a sweet tasting corn!

The Indigenous peoples of the Southwest the Navajo (Dineh), Apache, Zuni, and Pueblo People depended heavily on corn to sustain them in the winter time. Corn is considered very powerful medicine to this day.

Song in the Garden of the House of God (from the Navajo corn-planting ritual)

Truly in the east
The white bean
And the great corn plant
Are tied with the white lightning.
Listen! rain approaches!
The voice of the bluebird is heard.
Truly in the east
The white bean
And the great squash
Are tied with the rainbow.
Listen! rain approaches!
The voice of the bluebird is heard.

For the full poem and other wonderful poems please go to:

Traditional medicines, Curanderismo (the art of Mexican Folk Healing), uses corn in various ways to aid in creating health. There is a course on this at the University of New Mexico. I have linked some books about the traditional healers. The Curanderismo is very much alive and practiced today.

I do know that one way it is used is to make a tea out of the corn silk. However, I should warn you that the tea so-deemed a natural liver support and diuretic tastes pretty bad.

Anyway, let’s discuss some tasty ways to eat all this fresh corn!

Corn may be boiled, grilled, micro-waved, baked in the oven, or eaten raw.

My favorite is still boiled but I like grilled nearly as well. I do not care for the micro waved corn and certainly not raw corn.

How to Select and Boil Corn

Select ears that are fresh looking, green with yellow silk, plump, and heavy to hold. Strip a bit of the top of the ear and see if the kernels pop easily to yield the milky juice inside. If the kernels are tough to the touch do not buy that ear of corn.

At home boil a pot of water big enough to fully submerse the corn in and add a dash or two of salt. Sometimes, I have even added a bit of sugar (1-2 t.)

While the water in the pot is reaching the boiling point, strip off the husk and the silk on the corn ears. In the Midwest we did this while sitting on the back porch!

I always rinse the corn and remove any left corn silk.

Plunge the corn in the rapidly boiling water.

Once the water has returned to a roiling boil let the corn boil for 5 minutes (no longer) and immediately remove the corn from the water. Shake off the excess water.

As soon as you can handle the corn, dress it and enjoy!

NOTE: If you have so much corn that you need to home freeze it use this recipe BUT immediately after the corn is cooked plunge it into an water ice bath. Once cooled you may freeze the corn for use later.

The seasonings vary by culture and tradition. Here are several ways to enjoy corn:

~ Butter, salt, pepper

~ A bit of mayonnaise on the corn This was very strange sounding to me until I tried it. All the mayonnaise does is bring out the juicy flavor of the corn. If you can tell the corn has mayonnaise on it, you have added too much mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is so misunderstood because people drown foods in it and then blame the mayonnaise not their over-zealous application!

~ drenched in lemon with salt

~ drenched in lemon and dusted with garam-masala (continental Indian spice)

~ Here is a list of various seasonings that many people enjoy: lemon pepper, pepper, chilé, basil, Italian seasonings, Greek Seasonings, cumin, onion powder/salt, garlic powder/salt, and celery salt just to name a few!


Native Healers


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      Jackie 6 years ago

      Thanks for the informative post. I guess corn is close to those of us raised in the 'belt'.