October 17, 2012

Corn. two ways

What embodies the bounty of nature better than an ear of corn? With a twist of the wrist it is easily plucked from the stalk with no waste or fuss. It is packed with tasty, nutritious kernels that are larger and more numerous than those of other cereals. And it is surrounded by a leafy husk that shields it from pests and moisture. Maize appears to be a gift from nature; it even comes wrapped up. 
Tom Standage

Broiled Corn

Once, when people were unconditionally following lifestyles of hunter-gatherers, corn was nothing like it is today. It was a simple unattractive grass having neither the contemporary shape or size, nor the name that we are so used to call it today. Teosinte. That's what it was. A wild Mexican grass, consisting only of two rows of kernels surrounded by very firm glumes. Those were needed to protect the kernels within, yet at the same time making it harder for humans to consume.

However, when the natural mistake occurred and a single gene controlling the size of these glumes experienced the mutation, the result would be an exposed kernel. This one, differently from it's normal primitive, became quite attractive to humans, since the mutation eliminated the need to remove the glumes before eating. In that way, the whole consumption process turned out to be faster, more practical and more convenient.

Understanding this, people became very keen on gathering only the mutant plans. And when the time to settle down came into the picture, transforming their gatherer careers into farmers, humans themselves began sowing these more appealing kernels as seeds.
Very soon, the proportion of plants with exposed kernels highly increased, fiercely eliminating its original form from the horizon. And even though this kind of mutation made soon-to-be-corn less likely to survive in the wild on its own, it also gave the humanity one of the  most important staple without which it might not had survived.

It is a complex technology, developed by humans over successive generations to the point where maize was ultimately incapable of surviving on its own in the wild, but could deliver enough food to sustain entire civilizations.
Tom Standage

Broiled Corn

Being a part of this civilization, I've just had a beautiful corn for late supper. It was properly broiled, generously buttered, slightly and mindfully salted, and finally – served. Just like that. Put in a plate only for a short second before the animal in me eagerly bit into it. Into that blindingly yellow ear lavishly packed with juicy and pulpy seeds that all together created a lovely pattern on the cob which reminded me of this Old Town pavement rugged with some shapeless stones.

And fingers are still speaking the smell of buttery corn.

However, if you feel like having something more than just simple, I can offer you a few broiled corn variations: one with maple-mustard glaze (maple syrup can be easily substituted with honey), the other - with a splash of great Mexican flavors. By the way, though the oven does a really great job here, having a chance to cook the cobs on a grill you will be even more fortunate with a final result.

So just enjoy, all, you, corn lovers!

Oven Broiled Corn with Maple-Mustard Glaze

Oven Broiled Corn with Maple-Mustard Glaze

1 earn of corn, un-husked
1/2 tsp honey mustard, though Dijon is also fine
1 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature with the broiler function turned on. Put the corn on the middle-ranked grid, and broil for 8-10 minutes, turning over half-way through cooking time.
In the meantime, whisk together maple syrup, mustard, and spices.
During the last minutes of broiling, take the corn out and strip back the husk, but do no remove it fully. Baste it with maple-mustard glaze, and return to the oven for the last minute, until the glaze caramelizes and becomes sticky.

Oven Broiled Mexican Style Corn

Oven Broiled Mexican-Style Corn

1 earn of corn, un-husked
3 Tbsp Greek yogurt, or sour cream
zest from 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C) temperature with broiler function turned on. Put the corn on the middle-ranked grid and broil for 8-10 minutes, turning over half-way through the cooking time.
In the meantime, mix together yogurt (sour cream), lime zest, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
When the corn is done, take it from the oven and remove the husk. Spread the yogurt mixture onto the cob, sprinkle with cheese, and serve immediately.

Oven Broiled Corn with Maple-Mustard Glaze

7 comments:

  1. I can't decide which flavour I might like best. They both sounds so good! Absolutely love the photos too :)

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    1. Me neither :) I would not be able to say which one was better, cause they both are exceptionally fabulous! :))

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  2. To my point of view that's what I call a flawless article! Do you use this domain for your personal goals solely or you basically exploit it as an additional source of income?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thanks for the compliment!
      For now, this blog is only a personal space where I share my thoughts and love for food. Though, I also work as a freelance writer for one Lithuanian newspaper, where I manily write about food as well :)

      Delete
  3. Migle, , thank you for joining in the fiesta fun on Carole's Chatter. I have been doing a little happy dance reading all the great Mexican inspired ideas. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome ;) I'm happy to join!

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  4. Ridiculous story there. What happened after? Good luck!


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