8/3/15 ChefElla's Summer Corn & Compound Butters

It is that time of the summer when you are starting to see more and more fresh vegetables.  If you live in or near the country you are passing roadside vegetable stands, and if you live in the city you are seeing more fresh vegetables at farmers markets and the grocery store.  I normally do not eat a lot of corn, but eating fresh corn in the summer is a tradition.  Sure it makes a mess when you clean it, and it gets stuck in your teeth, and you will always look like a cave man eating it, but it is worth it.  I know there are people who say, only eat fresh corn with salt and pepper, or just add butter, or just eat it plain, but I like my corn with some flavor.  So this week when I made my corn I also made some flavored butters (aka compound butter) to go with it.  I know they sound difficult to make but they are really easy to make.  Whether you grill, roast, or boil your corn take the time to enjoy it while it lasts.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need a small bowl, a rubber spatula, a knife, a cutting board, tongs, measuring spoons, and plastic sandwich bags.  For boiled corn you will need a large stock pot.

If you are not allowed to use the grill, stove or a knife by yourself you can ask an adult to help.

ChefElla’s Summer Corn & Compound Butters (6-8 Ears of Corn)

6-8 ea.        Ears of Fresh Corn

-When you get your fresh corn home, clean it over a paper bag or over the garbage, outside.  Slowly pull off the green leaves a few at a time until they are all gone.  Carefully snap off the remaining stalk.  With your hands, rub or pull off the silk.  Silk are the little threads attached to the corn cob.  Set your corn aside.  Rinse with water before cooking.

 Compound Butters (Each recipe makes 4 Tablespoons)

To prepare any of the butters take a stick of butter out of the refrigerator and let it sit out for 3-4 hours or until it is soft to the touch.

Parmesan Butter

4 Tbl.          Butter, Unsalted, Softened (1/2 of a stick)

2 tsp           Parmesan Cheese, Grated

2 tsp           Basil, Fresh, Minced (about 4 medium leaves)

¼ tsp          Oregano, Dried, (not ground)

1/8 tsp       Granulated Garlic

Southwest Butter

4 Tbl.          Butter, Unsalted, Softened (1/2 of a stick)

1/8 tsp       Cumin Ground

1/8 tsp       Onion Powder

2 tsp           Cilantro Leaves, Fresh, Minced

1/8 tsp       Smoked Paprika

1/8 tsp       Salt, Kosher or Sea

                       -The butter may taste a little salty if you try it plain, but it will taste fine on your corn.

Mediterranean Butter

4 Tbl.          Butter, Unsalted, Softened (1/2 of a stick)

1 Tbl.         Feta Cheese, Crumbled

1 tsp           Sundried Tomatoes, Minced

1/8 tsp       Thyme Leaves, Dried, Minced

1/8 tsp       Oregano Leaves, Dried, (not ground)

1/8 tsp       Salt, Kosher or Sea

                       -The butter may taste a little salty if you try it plain, but it will taste fine on your corn.

a.  To make any of the butters follow the same instructions.

b.  Add butter to your small bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Using your rubber spatula or a large spoon, mix together all of the ingredients.  Keep mixing until they are all blended together.

c.  If you would like to serve your butter out of a dish, put the butter in a small dish and refrigerate.

d.  If you would like to make your butter into the traditional stick shape, do the following.  Take a sandwich bag and roll down the collar of the bag 2-3 times.

e.  Scoop butter into the bottom of the bag, and roll up the collar of the bag.  Using your fingers, mold the butter in the bottom of the bag into a cylinder shape.

f.  Wash and dry your rubber spatula.  Lay out the bag with the butter in it on the counter, and gently scrap the butter to the bottom of the bag.  The butter will compact and make a roll shape.

g.  Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator to harden. 


3. If you are going to grill your corn.  Pre-heat the grill to a medium high heat.  Add the corn to the grill over a low flame or no flame with your tongs.  Check the corn after a couple of minutes.  When the corn starts to brown a little, turn it ¼ turn.  Check the corn every couple of minutes and continue to turn.  When the corn is cooked on all sides it is done.  Try to keep the corn from blackening.  If it blackens it will taste burnt and may not cook long enough to be done.

4.  If you are going to boil your corn.  Fill large pot half full of water and bring to a boil on the stove.  Using your tongs place, do not drop your corn into the water.  Let the water come back to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes for large ears, and 8 minutes for smaller ears.  Remove the pot from the heat.

5.  You can let the corn sit in the water for up to 5 minutes if you need.

6.  Spread the compound butter on your freshly cooked ears of corn and enjoy.

You may have some butter left over and you do not want it to go to waste.  Other uses for compound butter.  Spread it on toast or warm rolls.  Mix it with noodles or rice.  Put it on top of grilled or baked meats, steak, chicken, or seafood.  You can even add it to your other favorite vegetables, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower.   Compound butters can also be used to sauté foods to add more flavor, and can even be melted over fresh popped popcorn.



Ella's Helpers

ChefElla's helpers can help in the kitchen by doing any of the following:

Measuring out the ingredients.

Mixing the butter and shaping it into a cylinder.