Summer may be almost over, but we’ve got sweet corn

Where has summer gone? Technically there are still a few weeks left to enjoy, especially if you’re not headed back to school. For those of us who aren’t, it’s time to get serious. Serious about doing those things we wanted to over the season but didn’t. Now’s your last chance to run through a sprinkler, hop on your bike, catch fireflies and eat sweet corn – lots of sweet corn. Lucky for us sweet corn is in abundance at local markets and farmstands, so take advantage while you can. Eat it straight off the cob or make Roasted Corn Salsa and Classic Corn Casserole. Both recipes can be made with canned corn; however, nothing beats freshly picked. Don’t forget to grab an extra dozen ears to freeze for future use.

Roasted Corn Salsa
This salsa is made from just a handful of farm fresh ingredients – corn, peppers, onion and herbs. Serve it along with tortilla chips, or use it as a topping for tacos, burgers and fish. Roasting the corn brings out its natural sweetness and a more intense flavor. The extra step in preparation is worth it. 3 cups salsa

2 ears sweet corn (about 2 cups), roasted
1/2 roasted poblano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper or hot Italian pepper, ribs and seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste

In a medium size bowl, combine corn, peppers, cilantro and onion. Drizzle with lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Place salsa in the refrigerator and allow its ingredients to marinate about 30 minutes before serving.

Corn Casserole
A true classic summer side, this casserole features sweet corn, a cheesy center and a golden, buttery topping. It’s perfect for any occasion and a true crowd pleaser. Take it with you and watch it disappear. 6 servings

2 ears sweet corn (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 F. To prepare corn, fill a large pot with water. Bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Boil corn for about 10 minutes. Allow it to cool and then slice the corn from the cob. In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, flour, eggs, sugar, seasonings, cheese and milk. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top the mixture with breadcrumbs. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake casserole uncovered for 1 hour or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Freezing Corn

Frozen corn is great to have on hand for adding to soups, stews and chili. To freeze, place corn in boiling water and cook 3-5 minutes. Remove the corn from water and slice it from the cob. Allow kernels to completely cool before placing them in freezer bags.

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