If you know me at all, you know that the way to my heart is through a good pun. There is a tiny portion of my brain that virtually never turns off, which constantly filters the words I’m hearing for pun potential. I’ve literally had a friends text me puns they’ve thought of…or (pre smart phones) call describe a fabulous billboard pun they’d passed. It’s my love language.
So when I first heard of Amaize Sweet Corn, it immediately earned a special place in my heart. Amaze. Maize. You see where this is going. And I’m pretty sure I’d love its creators - George Crookham and Bruce Hobdey – who, after over 22 years of developing this unique sweet corn, named it something so utterly clever.
Okay, so here’s what’s so Amaize-ing (it only gets old if you let it):
Amaize corn is a white variety, but don’t let that fool you. It’s full of flavor and just as sweet as any yellow sweet corn you’ve tried. Amaizing taste, how sweet the corn.
But perhaps the best part of Amaize is its texture. In the past few years, I’ve fallen for using raw sweet corn in recipes because I lurve that crunch, but Amaize actually keeps its crunch after being cooked. It never becomes mushy.
The growers of Amaize sweet corn only use traditional and natural breeding methods; in other words the corn is never genetically modified. It’s only available for a few months in the summer, and I’m sorry to say, in select states and cities, but should you be in one of those places, will you please try this for me?
Because if you know me at all, you know that I love sweet corn. I literally grew up surrounded by sweet corn fields, and my summer was filled corn on the cob for lunches and dinner. And I’m telling you, this is some fabulous sweet corn.
Now, I’m the last person who would tell you that anything is better than grilled sweet corn, rolled in butter, and loved with salt. But Mexican Elotes comes pretty close. We first tried elotes a few years ago – grilled corn, slathered with a south-of-the-border mix of mayo, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, lime juice, and more. But admittedly, elotes can be pretty sloppy to eat…and well, mayo. If you know me at all, you know I hate mayo with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.
So when I was thinking of what to do with my Amaize corn, I wanted to make elotes, but with a few tweaks. I wanted it in salad form to increase it’s eatability, but decided this corn needed to buddy up with some of its summertime pals: lettuce, bell peppers, green onions, and cilantro. And then I made an elotes-like dressing based on traditional sour cream salad dressing recipes – three cheers for omitting mayo.
And the result was so summery fresh. All that crunch and texture from the star of the show – the grilled Amaize corn – its sweetness pairing fabulously with the tang and creaminess of the dressing.
For my fellow Minnesotans, Amaize corn will be available at Lunds & Byerly’s in early August. For the rest of you, check out where you can buy your share. It really is amazing.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Amaize Sweet Corn for recipe development purposes, but my opinions (and full belly of corn) are all my own.
(recipe by Carpé Season)
A simple summer salad with all the flavors of Mexican elotes .
6 ears sweet corn (we used Amaize!), prepared as listed below
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
4 cups salad greens, diced (we used a spinach/romaine mixture)
Garnish Options: extra cilantro, lime wedges
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup feta or cotija cheese
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chili powder*
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2-3 tablespoons milk, (use to thin to desired consistency)
*this amount of chili powder gave this what I'd call a mild kick. Use more or less depending on your love of heat.
Prepare the Corn:
Peel back the husk on each cob gently. Remove as much of the silk as you can, especially the tuft at the top. Replace the husk, then remove all but the innermost layer. Do this with each cob; then soak the cobs in water for 20 minutes. As they soak, heat your grill to medium/hot. Place soaked cobs on the grill and cook for 5-10 minutes until husks are charred and corn is tender and kernels begin to brown. (Alternately, if you don't have a grill, you can char the corn over your gas oven burner until slightly browned).
Allow corn to cool slightly; then use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cob. Set kernels aside.
Prepare Elotes Dressing:
Place all ingredients except the milk in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Set aside. (Leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.)
Gently toss corn kernels with bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and salad greens. Gently stir in the dressing. Garnish with lime wedges and extra cilantro.
Salad keeps well for up to three days in your refrigerator. It will keep even better if you add the dressing only before serving.