We’re all about corn recipes right now at Tasting Everything! Corn on top of corn on top of corn! Today is all about gooey, cheesy, creamy polenta made with sautéed fresh corn and a surprisingly simple (but show-stoppingly amazing!) corn-parmesan stock.
It’s summer layered on summer layered on ridiculously yummy!
Fresh corn is in season, so it’s time for our best corn recipes!
When you have a flavor as summery, fresh, and healthy as perfectly-in-season fresh corn, why not layer it and layer it until you turn that flavor into something even more complex, nuanced, and absolutely show-stoppingly amazing? Enter today’s recipe for Triple Corn Polenta, which is truly one of the best corn recipes imaginable.
For this recipe, gooey and cheesy polenta becomes even more delicious than usual with the addition of fresh kernels of corn and a generous amount of homemade corn-parmesan stock. It’s surprisingly easy and the flavor is absolutely incredible. I made this triple corn polenta recently for Dad’s birthday, topped it with some sautéed wild mushrooms, and nobody could stop talking about how yummy it was! This is one of those amazing corn recipes that will wind up on our menu every year.
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Fresh corn is everywhere and inexpensive in Napa right now, so it’s making its way into most of our meals over here. It’s the perfect time of year for great corn recipes! (Check out the simple but awesome Absolute Umami Corn recipe!) Now that it’s less than $.40/cob, we pretty much always have plenty on hand and it’s always fun to throw some fresh corn into whatever we’re making for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A few kernels of summery corn in a salad or on top of a soup are always delicious, a little corn is great with eggs or potatoes, and sometimes there’s just nothing better than an ear of corn simply grilled or boiled! When corn is in season, there’s just nothing better than great corn recipes.
Don’t waste the flavor in the cob!
When cooking with fresh corn, a lot of people ignore the amazing potential of the cob itself, which is such a waste. It’s a shame to throw away so much great flavor, and there are a couple of super simple techniques that you can use to take advantage of every bit of great fresh corn flavor. When you cut the kernels off the cob, you can always drag a spoon or butter knife over the cob, which releases that incredibly delicious corn “milk” that can add so much flavor to everything from simple sautéed corn to whatever you’re making, like polenta, pasta, risotto, or soup!
Or you can make an easy corn stock!
How to make simple corn stock
In order to make corn stock, simply cover your cobs with cold water, add some onion, celery, and carrots (or don’t! It’s still awesome!), bring everything up to a boil and add some herbs if you’re in the mood (thyme, parsley, and bay leaves work very well) along with some peppercorns (or any spices you like!). Then reduce the heat and simmer it gently for 45 min-1 hour. Strain it, season it with a little salt if you want, and you’re good to go! You’ll have a richly delicious, seriously corn-flavored stock that you can now use to make even better polenta, risottos, soups, and more!
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For this dish, I knew that I wanted a stock that would be just perfect for this gooey, creamy polenta, so using some of the same flavors in both was a great way to heighten the flavor impact of the final product. Polenta, parmesan, and thyme all work incredibly well together, so I went ahead and made a corn stock with loads of fresh thyme (which is growing like crazy out back!) and a few parmesan rinds that I had stashed in the freezer. Never throw those parmesan rinds away! Even if you know you won’t use them for months, keep them! They freeze beautifully, and throwing a rind or two into soups, beans, tomato sauces, and so on is pretty much always the smartest decision you can make!
Want to make that lovely, snowy pile of parmesan? You just can beat a Microplane!
The Best Corn Recipes: Truly Incredible Triple Corn Polenta with Corn-Parmesan Stock
- 4 corn cobs, kernels removed and reserved
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2-3 parmesan rinds
- 1 Tbs black peppercorns
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- Water, to cover
- 1 cup reserved corn kernels (from above)
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
- ½ bunch thyme, picked and chopped
- 1 Tbs + 2 tbs butter
- 1 cup polenta
- 4 cups corn-parmesan stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs sour cream
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ bunch chives, chopped
- ½ bunch basil, julienned
- Salt, pepper
- Cover the corn cobs and onions with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add herbs, spices, olive oil, and parmesan rinds.
- Simmer gently for 45 min-1 hr, strain, and reserve stock for polenta.
- Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the corn kernels with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 4-6 minutes. Reserve.
- Gently heat 1 Tbs butter. Add the shallots and thyme and sauté until the shallots are translucent and soft. Add the stock and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta in a steady stream. You want to make sure there aren't any clumps of polenta stuck together, so take your time.
- Bring the polenta up to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring pretty constantly, until done (about 25 minutes for quick-cook polenta, and 45 or more minutes for standard). Don't let it stick to the bottom of the pan! (No energy for constant stirring? Cook your polenta in a double boiler and you'll have truly phenomenal results with half the energy!)
- Stir in the sautéed corn kernels.
- Stir in the cream, butter, sour cream, and parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning. Just before serving, stir in the fresh herbs. Dig in, and enjoy!
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