When I was a girl growing up in the mid-west, we ate our summer sweet corn boiled—with lots of butter. It never occurred to us to try grilling or sautéing for variety. We were happy with our method. Plus that’s just how vegetables were cooked back then—where we lived. Each summer, when my family gathers at our lake cottage in Indiana we revert back to time-honored traditions, one of which is boiling corn the way we always have. I doubt this will change anytime soon. Grilling corn is something we do in California.
A friend told me years ago to boil the corn for as long as it takes to say the Lord’s Prayer. This is not something we’ve ever tried, but I suspect our method probably achieves pretty much the same result (with a decidedly more secular approach). It certainly couldn’t hurt to say a prayer in the kitchen now and then—though frankly, I don’t think any is needed for summer sweet corn’s sake. A little butter, and freshly ground pepper is all it really needs.
- Freshly picked sweet corn, husked and silk removed
- One stick unsalted butter
- Freshly ground pepper
- Fill a large pot with water to within 3 inches of the rim. Bring water to boil.
- Place stick of butter on a plate.
- When water comes to a rolling boil, carefully place ears into the pot.
- Boil for 30 seconds to one minute then turn off the heat.
- With tongs, remove corn from the pot and serve.
- To eat, hold an ear at both ends and roll on the stick of butter so corn is coated with butter on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.