Corn is one of those foods I forget I like until I’m actually eating it – much like apples, mandarins and couscous. For apples, mandarins and couscous I think familiarity breeds contempt, but my relationship with corn is slightly more complicated.
When I was about nine years old, I fell off a bike and smashed my front teeth. Because the teeth were still growing, I had temporary caps placed on them until something more permanent could be done at a later date, and the dentist told me to avoid biting into anything particularly hard – like corn cobs.
So, for several years, I was that weird kid who couldn’t bite into corn, and instead I had to cut the corn off the cob first. Hugely embarrassing.
Now of course I can tackle a corn cob with vigour, and yet a sort of residual reluctance remains – which is a pity, because corn that’s been slightly charred on the barbecue is one of life’s great pleasures. Biting into a corn cob and feeling the juicy kernels pop as you tear them away is the food equivalent of popping bubble wrap.
The other thing about corn is that it suffers from the same problem as peas, in that it is often regarded as a ‘back-of-the-freezer emergency’ vegetable. This saddens me. So next time you sigh at the frozen corn kernels in the fridge in a fit of domestic ennui, think of me with my busted-arse teeth and go and buy corn on the cob.
Truth be told, it’s actually probably a little bit early to be writing about corn. While it is available now, you should probably try to hold off until later in spring and then go nuts for corn all the way through to mid autumn. However I became impatient and I really felt like tacos, so I made corn salsa. It’s really easy.
- 2 cobs of corn
- 1 green capsicum
- 1/4 red onion
- 3 bird’s eye chillies
- 1 handful coriander
- juice of 1 lime
- olive oil
Cut the corn from the cobs. Place the kernels in a pot of boiling water for two minutes. Drain. Chop the capsicum, onion, chilli and coriander finely, mix with the corn. Add the lime juice, and olive oil and salt to taste.
That is it. Super easy. If you want to maximise deliciousness, I thoroughly recommend shelling a kilo of green prawns and marinating these for a little while with 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), the zest of 1 lime, chilli flakes, olive oil and salt, then frying them in a grill pan (or on the barbecue). Mash an avocado with some lime juice, grab some sour cream and warm up some tortillas and bam, delicious tacos.
Wine note: Mornington Peninsula chardonnay. For the longest time I thought I hated chardonnay, but it turned out that what I actually hated was the cat piss masquerading as chardonnay that is served at political functions across the nation. Eldridge Estate make some lovely chardonnay, as do Montalto, Ten Minutes by Tractor, and Stonier. With the salsa had a 2010 MontaltoEstate Chardonnay which had been open for a couple of days; it held up really well.
Photo: cc licensed Flickr user QWEbie