We're in the middle of sweet corn season: Here are some easy ways to cook, store it

Sweet corn.
Sweet corn.

When it comes to produce that is fresh, sweet, and tasty, it doesn't get any better than sweet corn. And we are smack dab in the middle of sweet corn season.

Loads of yellow, white, and bi-color corn are landing at many metro Detroit local farm markets, independent stores and farmers' markets.

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Fred Block of Block's Stand and Greenhouse in Romulus said the crop is big and it's coming in good.

"It's (corn season) in full swing with good varieties, good size ears, and good flavor," Block said.

At Block's, corn is sold by how many you can fit in a bag. The bags are two for $5 and easily hold a dozen ears of corn.

Ben Phillips, a Michigan State University Extension vegetable specialist, also said this year's corn season in Michigan is excellent.

While there was a little dry stress early, Phillips said rains were well timed, pollination happened and pests were low.

"There's a lot of high-quality ears out there," Phillips said. "Conditions have been good for tip fill."

For good tip fill, Phillips said, when you're holding that ear of corn, the tip has to feel "stubby, not pointy."

"That means all the kernels to the end have filled out," he said.

Cooking corn

Ever have cooler corn? It's an easy way to cook corn for a crowd. Yes, that same cooler that keeps beer, pop and foods cold can keep things hot, too.

Cooking corn in a cooler is quick and easy.
Cooking corn in a cooler is quick and easy.

Here’s how:

  • Clean your cooler, making sure you wash and rinse it out well.

  • Make sure you have a lid.

  • Shuck the corn and place it in the cooler. You can line them up in a single or double row — depending on the size of your cooler.

  • Boil some water — enough to completely cover the ears by an inch or more.

  • Cover with the lid. Let sit at least 30-45 minutes or until the corn is cooked. If you like you can throw in a stick of butter too.

Silk-free microwave corn

A few minutes in the microwave and how you remove the husk leads to silk-free corn.

Here's how:

  • Leave the corn in the husk but remove as much of the silk as you can. I use scissors to trim it away.

  • Place the corn on a microwave-safe plate or dish. Microwave on high for about 3 minutes, depending on the size of the ear.

  • The corn will be hot so use oven mitts or a towel to remove it from the microwave.

  • Place corn on a work surface and cut about ½-inch off the larger end.

  • Holding the silk end, squeeze or twist the husk so the ear of corn slips out. The silk stays in the husk.

Storing corn

  • Store freshly picked corn in a bag in the refrigerator and use it within a few days. Do not remove the husk.

  • Corn also freezes beautifully. Cut the kernels from the cob and place them in a freezer-quality bag and in the freezer. There's no need to blanch the corn. You can also freeze cooked corn.

  • You can also freeze the whole cobs of corn. Remove the husk and silk and blanch in boiling water 3-4 minutes. Place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Pat corn dry and place in a freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible.

  • To easily cut corn from the cob, break the ear in half. Stand the ear on the cut side and slice kernels from top to bottom. Having two smaller pieces standing upright is easier than trying to cut the kernels from a whole ear.

Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to:  sselasky@freepress.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Sweet corn: Easy ways to cook, freeze and store sweet corn