What you need to know about fresh New Jersey corn
It's summer and Jersey corn is at its best right now. There’s nothing like a couple of ears of fresh Jersey corn served up with your summer meals. It’s a tradition. In order to get a the maximum enjoyment of your Jersey Fresh corn you should know how to pick it, store it, cook it and preserve it for future use in those not so fresh months.
Picking Jersey corn at the grocery store or if you’re lucky a roadside stand all comes down to color and touch. Please DON”T PULL THE HUSK DOWN TO CHECK THE QUALITY OF THE CORN AT THE STORE! That process dries out perfectly fine corn for everyone else.
If the color of the husk is maintaining a solid deep green color, if the husk is still tightly wrapped around the corn and the tassels are a sticky brown and yellow then the corn is fresh. I like to gently feel the outer husk to check for gaps underneath the husk without damaging it. If the tassels are dry or black and the husks are loosely wrapped then the corn is old and dry and you should stay away from it.
Once you have picked your corn the best thing you can do is eat it that day. Corn loses its sweetness after it’s picked off the stalk. If you need to store it, don’t husk the corn and put it in air tight storage bags into the fridge for a maximum of 2 days. Remember, each day that it’s left in the fridge will dry it out and the level of sweetness starts to diminish.
If you have a lot of extra corn leftover you can blanch the corn, cut the kernels off the cob then freeze the kernels in a freezer bag for up to 10 months. Use the bare cobs for a soup stock by boiling them with a little salt and storing the cooled down liquid in the freezer. It makes for a great addition to your winter soups and chowders.
For cooking the corn I like boiling the cobs with a little salt and sugar in the water, cooking them just before serving and serve the cobs with melted butter.
I also like them grilled with mayonnaise spread over the cob, add salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper, once cooked on the grill, add fresh pecorino Romano cheese and serve hot. It’s very good.
Take advantage of Jersey Fresh corn. Cook it, save it and savor it!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.