Now is the moment when fresh sweet corn is piling in almost faster than you can eat it. You’ve been waiting for it all year and you’re gorging yourself silly on it, but are you starting to wonder how you can keep up? Deborah DeBord has a few tips for getting corn off the cob so you can use them in other dishes. —Mi Ae
Peel the husks and save them for tamales, other preps, or husk dolls. Remove every last string of silk by twisting the cob on your palm. Rinse. Blanch for one minute if you will be freezing. Select a method for dekerneling, choosing one that feels fast, efficient, and safe for your style:
- Lay the cob on its side on the cutting board. Hold the cob’s end to steady it, and with a super-sharp knife, slice several rows of kernels at a time lengthwise, getting as close to the cob as possible. Use that first cut strip as a stabilizing base. Cut and turn cob until it’s naked. Use the back of the knife to extract the remaining milk from the cob for creamier preps.
- For vertical cutting, snap the cob in half to give it a more stable base for slicing top to bottom on the cutting board. Use the back of the knife to mash out milk from the cob for creamier preps.
- Place the cob in the center of a bundt pan to stabilize it. Strip off the kernels vertically, letting them fall into the pan. Use the back of the knife to mash out the milk from the cob for creamier preps.
- Visually impaired and blind cooks enjoy getting a sink scrupulously food-grade clean. They perform their chosen method in the sink, letting kernels fly sans souci, collecting them all in the end, confident that the countertops are kernel-free. This works especially well with large harvests headed for the freezer. No kidding!
— From Barn Bits: Picked at the Peak, by Deborah DeBord, Ph.D.