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One Food, Four Ways: Corn

You can do a lot more with these golden ears than grill them up and smear them with butter. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1.) MAKE A SOUP
“For an easy appetizer, just grill or boil a few ears of corn and then remove the kernels from the cob,” says Chris Leahy, executive chef at Lyon in NYC. “Put them in the blender with some salt and pepper and a couple spoonfuls of sour cream, and purée until smooth.” For a sweeter soup, add a dash of honey. Or, for a hot soup, try cooking some onion, garlic, cubed butternut squash, and corn until tender. Let the mixture cool a bit; add it to a blender along with some plain yogurt and a few of your favorite spices, and process until creamy.

2.) SERVE IT IN A BURGER OR SANDWICH
Seriously. Mix together some raw hamburger, fresh corn just off the cob, and a favorite spice like cumin. Form the mixture into patties and cook them as you would a regular burger. Or, try filling a pita with your own homemade Southwest corn and chicken salad. One idiot-proof recipe: Toss cooked, diced chicken breast with fresh corn, chopped onion, and bell pepper, some freshly chopped cilantro, a bit of paprika or nutmeg, and a teaspoon of light sour cream or mayo.

3.) MIX IT INTO MEXICAN FOOD
Throw together a fresh corn salsa. “Cut the corn off the cob, and mix it with freshly diced pepper, chiles, cilantro, and lime,” says Troy Guard, owner of Tag Raw Bar in Denver, CO. “It’s great with chips, or serve with grilled fish, steak, or chicken.” Amp up your salsa with a few chunks of avocado, minced garlic, diced onion, or tomatillo, or red pepper flakes. Corn is also a perfect addition to tacos, burritos, or fajitas. Just mix the kernels in with the beef, rice, and beans before spooning the mixture into your shell.

5.) ADD IT TO YOUR ENTREE
For a five-minute breakfast, chef James Boyce from Commerce Kitchen in Huntsville, AL, suggests an egg and corn scramble. “Just cut the corn off a couple cobs and toss it in a pan with a little oil,” he says. “After a minute or so, whisk in a couple eggs. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a whole wheat tortilla.” The next time you have pasta, try adding some corn into your sauce along with a few fresh herbs. You can also add fresh corn to risotto, stir-frys, and casseroles.

NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN
One ear of corn packs 123 calories, 27g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 4g fiber, and is a good source of B vitamins, folate, vitamin C, phosphorus, and manganese.

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