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Caramelized Corn with Basil

August 18, 2010

by Elizabeth

I google reader-tagged (is that a word now?) this recipe on The Wednesday Chef the second it was posted, which apparently was in November 2009. Since then I’ve virtually visited the recipe a dozen times, it’s floated into my  brain while menu planning on several occasions, and every time I came across a recipe for corn, I thought, again, “maybe I should make that caramelized corn soon”…I’ve pretty much been obsessing over this recipe for nine months now.

Honestly, I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to it. Maybe because corn wasn’t in season back in November, and it just felt more like a summer dish to me. Maybe I was skeptical that the caramelized corn could be as life-changing as Louisa said it would be (she fell in love with frozen corn, people), since you only need four of the most basic ingredients to make something magical happen. But it turns out this corn is magical, and so easy. I adapted the original recipe a bit, using fresh corn instead of frozen since it is actually summer now, and I had basil in the garden so I used that, I prefer it to mint anyway. Be sure not to rush it or get scared of the caramelized bits burning onto your pan, really let the corn get nice and golden brown – that’s when the flavors start to sing.

Caramelized Corn

adapted from Julia Moskin via The Wednesday Chef

serves 2

2 ears fresh corn (or 10 oz box frozen corn)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Salt to taste

Cut the kernels from each corn cob using a sharp knife. You’ll end up with about two cups. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted, then add the corn. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the kernels are gently browned and caramelized. They may start to pop or smell like movie theater popcorn, and the bottom of your pan will get really black. Don’t worry, it’s part of the corn magic.

When the corn is done, remove from heat and stir in basil and salt to taste. Serve warm.

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