August 22, 2010

Tip of the day—Preserving Corn

For best results when preparing or preserving corn:

  • The sugar in corn quickly changes to starch.  Buy corn that has been picked that same day. 
  • Keep it cool or at least out of the heat if you can’t use it immediately.
  • To check and see if the corn is fresh, you can press a kernel with your fingernail.  If it releases a milky juice and seems full, it is pretty fresh.
  • Freezing is the preferred method for preserving corn.  It becomes a bit mushy when pressure canned.  If you don’t have a lot of room in your freezer, watch for corn relish recipes that are high enough in acidity to be water bath canned.  (The recipes will indicate them as such).
  • To freeze corn—
    • Cut the kernels loose from the cob, being sure not to remove the pointed end that is inside of the cob (that part is tough). 
    • If you like a creamy corn, “milk” the cob by wringing your hands on it as if to wring out a towel. 
    • Cook the corn, corn milk, and enough water to keep the corn from scorching on medium heat in a skillet stirring often.  You will know it is cooked enough when you see the corn to just start to turn a deeper shade of yellow (or a deeper shade of whatever color of corn you have). 
    • Let the corn cool at room temperature. 
    • Once it is cooled, put it in freezer bags or another type of freezer container.  If still a bit warm, put in the refrigerator overnight and then move to the freezer in the morning.
    • NOTE—this is the way that the older ladies at church and my grandmother always froze corn.  You will see in some cookbooks and on some websites to blanch the corn.  I prefer to blanch it only if keeping it on the cob and then freezing it.  (To blanch means that you are cooking something for a limited time and then submerging the food in an ice bath and then draining it). 

The best part about preserving corn?  It is much, much better than canned corn.  For Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, it is so nice to pull that beautiful corn out of the freezer and have a little taste of harvest for those special meals.  YUM!

1 comment:

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