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July 25, 2008

While I secretly like to paint my face, put on vinyl knickers, and swallow fire in the kitchen a la rock gods KISS, today’s lesson is Keep It Simple Stupid. So, are you ready for the magic formula… fresh corn + brown butter + basil = quick fix gastronomic bliss.

Now, after reading Michael Pollan, you’re probably boycotting the golden nuggets for single-handedly destroying agricultural diversity in the United States. But before you cane me with your protesting placards, remember the farmer’s market variety is not the same beast our tax dollars are subsidizing in Iowa so we can all eat twinkies and drive our cars using the same biomass. No, this is local, summer corn, the eating kind, and we’re heading into peak season.

First you’ve got to get good corn. If you’re in Los Angeles you might want to get on a plane and head East — but what kind of carbon footprint would that give you? The truth is there’s great Cali-corn, you just have to ask your favorite farmer at the market to sample their bounty. Eat it raw, and if it’s the real deal, it’ll be firm and sweet without a trace of starchy mush.

Now for the big KISS… Brown Butter Basil Drenched Corn

For Recipe…

Husk the ears, making sure to remove all the silk and cut the kernels off the cobb. Now we have a special device for corn cleanup in our kitchen, but for those without furry friends, try place the cob in a large mixing bowl to cut kernels (the bowl will catch the errant suckers). When you’ve got all your golden goods ready, make some brown butter (which is basically separating the milk solids from the butter). Fry up a generous pat of butter, swirling around over high heat until it turns a light brown hue and gives off a nutty aroma. Add corn and sautee for 3-5 minutes until cooked, then chifonade a handful of basil and throw on top to finish. Doctor with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gabe permalink
    July 26, 2008 1:20 am

    KISS-ing in the kitchen! I love it. That’s exactly what I need. This recipe sounds my speed. Thanks for the tip on buying fresh corn at the Farmer’s Market. I’ll have to try this tip out this weekend.

  2. Amy permalink
    July 26, 2008 2:10 am

    I never thought about tasting it raw at the market. That’s a great idea! This sounds delicious and perfectly simple as summer should be.

  3. Grace permalink
    July 26, 2008 5:20 am

    Yum. Last weekend at the farmer’s market here, I bought some corn and ended up frying up some bacon, then adding the corn kernels in the pan. If you like bacon, this is a great dish! I’ll definitely have to try it your way next time. Sounds great!

  4. lastomach permalink*
    July 26, 2008 6:21 am

    Have fun at the Farmer’s Market everyone! And Grace, you’re right you can’t go wrong with bacon — I had a friend from college who used to keep a jar of bacon fat in his fridge and would just spoon a dash out over everything he made.

  5. milt permalink
    July 27, 2008 11:28 pm

    i know who the cookie monster is……….eats all the cookies!

  6. July 28, 2008 2:28 am

    Keep it rockin like the stuff that we call maize (What’s that?) Brown buttered popcorn, with basil.

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