Corn on the cob – a real crowd pleaser
by Alison Charbonneau
Big gatherings call for a lot of food and, at this time of year, that also means a lot of corn; Not only because corn is in season but also because corn is a relatively easy vegetable to work with as it adds freshness to salads, heartiness to soups and sweetness to baked goods. But what we are really talking about is corn on the cob – the real crowd pleaser. Boiled, grilled, or roasted, smeared with butter, sprinkled with salt, or sweetly simple, nothing beats the appeal of biting into a crunchy sweet cob of corn. But how do you cook corn on the cob for a large number of people?
A few years ago we hosted a pig roast and of course we made a huge amount of corn on the cob. We used the largest pot we could find and borrowed a portable burner to cook the corn in batches. It was time consuming boiling the corn batch after batch. Then each batch sat and cooled off as everything else cooked and people took their time eating and socializing. It worked out okay in the end; Boiled corn works for smaller groups, but for larger ones maybe there is a better way?
Just a few weeks ago my ball team held our year end/playoff potluck. Of course I was tasked with bringing the corn. I was going to have to cook it at my friend’s house and I was unsure how best to do it until another friend of mine suggested cooler corn (new to me but apparently a thing). It honestly turned out great. We just put all the corn in a washed out cooler (we peeled it but you could leave the husks on), poured in boiling water to cover the corn, shut the lid, and 30 minutes later – done. Perfect, hot, delicious!
Cooler corn is a great idea for a backyard barbeque or beach picnic but what about if you need to scale it up a notch? Like say for The Wismer House’s annual pig and corn roast? “We use a massive pot of boiling water inside a charcoal roaster. The water is infused with fresh Hi-Berry Farm garlic, butter, salt and pepper” says Jeff Carver, owner of The Wismer House. Jeff tells me that The Wismer House has been putting on this event, with the help of Alex Rodbard of IBBQ4U, for the past 5 or 6 years because “it brings the cooking experience right to the customer, it turns the everyday into an event and allows us to do something different which is a lot of fun for both the customer and staff.”
“The key to delicious corn is to buy it fresh and cook it fresh. After it is cooked and incorporated into food it can be frozen and enjoyed all winter long.”
Jeff Carver, The Wismer House
When not holding a massive corn roast, The Wismer House uses corn in a variety of their menu items, particularly in their Mexican dishes. “Our house made salsa always uses roasted corn that is slow cooked in our smoker using a hickory and mesquite wood blend.”
The Wismer House’s sweet corn salsa
They also use corn in their fresh salads as well as in their hearty roasted corn & smoked salmon chowder (recipe below) bridging the gap between summer and fall. “It is a versatile ingredient because its flavour and texture can vary based on the cooking method used.”
If you missed out on this year’s corn roast The Wismer House plans on doing it again next Labour Day weekend. Until then try some of their regular menu offerings or make your own!
Hi-Berry Farm still has lots of fresh corn for you to enjoy now until thanksgiving!
Roasted Corn & Smoked Salmon Chowder
- 6 cobs of Hi Berry corn
- 2 pounds of smoked salmon
- 1/2 a pound of sliced bacon – chopped
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic
- 5 green onions – chopped
- 2 spanish onions – chopped
- 4 carrots – chopped
- 4 stalks of celery – chopped
- 1/3 cup of parsley
- 6 red skin potatoes – chopped
- 7 cups of chicken stock
- 1/4 cup of fresh dill or 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried dill
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 5 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- Grill shucked cobs of corn on your BBQ at medium to high heat, turning fairly often until corn becomes slightly charred. Once this happens remove cobs and slice the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Set aside.
Put bacon into a large pot and cook, at medium, until a little brown, then add garlic, spanish onion, celery and carrots. Cook until vegetables are tender.
Pour white wine into pot, stirring until all of the bits of bacon that are stuck to the bottom are free and the wine has reduced.
Stir in green onion and parsley and then add warm chicken stock. Season with dill, salt and peppa. Add potatoes and let simmer on medium until potatoes are tender.
Melt butter in a separate pan and add flour to melted butter to create a roux. Stir constantly until the roux is light brown in colour.
Pour whole milk into your large pot with all of the other ingredients, add your roux and stir until soup starts to thicken. Add grilled corn, smoked salmon and lemon juice and continue to stir, cooking over medium heat (do not let boiling to occur).
Ladle into bowls and enjoy.
Produced by howwedolocal.com
Photography by Jill Schildroth Photography
Recipes by The Wismer House