Food & Swine

Freezer Corn

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To some, the term “Freezer Corn” may sound like an odd combination.  For me, growing up in an Iowa farm kitchen… freezer corn is not only a ‘thing’, it is also an event.  When we bag freezer corn, we all get together to spread the work of shucking, plucking silks, cutting kernels, milking the cob, cooking, cooling and bagging. This recipe is really flexible and I’ll give you the ratios to use so you can increase the batch size easily.  The yield you’ll get out of your earnest labor will depend on the size of the ears of sweet corn you purchase, how well you cut the kernels off of the cob and how much ‘milk’ you get out of it.  When the time is ‘right’ and you’ve got more corn than you can ‘mow off the cob’, try freezing it. You’ll enjoy this method if you don’t want the hassle of ‘canning’ corn with glass jars, water baths, boiling water, burnt fingers, arms and toes (not that I’d know this).  We didn’t can much when I was younger.  This way of preparing corn suited my family just fine.

Sweet corn production is hitting its height of glory right now.  Run out and buy a few dozen, you’ll thank me this winter.

If you want some ‘on the cob’ right now, try my recipe for traditional Iowa Sweet Corn.

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Iowa Freezer Corn
By: Cristen      www.foodandswine.com

You’ll need:
Sweet Corn (as many dozen as you like)
Sugar (1-2 TBSP per 8 Cups)
Salt (1/2-1 tsp per 8 Cups)
1 or 2 large stock pots (tall sided large pots)
Baking sheets or glass baking trays (for cooling corn)
Quart sized freezer baggies
a large mouth funnel

**RECIPE TABLE: Per 1 quart (8 cups) of prepared corn, before cooking, add 1-2 TBSP sugar, 1/2-1 tsp salt.
Sugar is great depending on the variety being used.  Salt’s obvious use is for flavor, however, if you are on a salt restricted diet, omit or use sparingly.  You can always add salt later but you can’t take it away.

Directions and Explanation of Steps:
1. Shuck Corn, remove all of husk and silks. Rub a dry paper towel on silks to remove them if you’re having trouble.

2. With the knife of your choice (some prefer serrated, some prefer smooth edged blade), saw kernels off of the cob.  Do not penetrate the knife too deep into the kernel, otherwise you’ll end up with a tough result.  Some of that is meant to stay on the cob.

3. The remedy to ‘leaving a little on’ in step #2 is to do what my Mom and Grandma taught me.  “Milk the cob”.  There is a liquid full of delicious sugars and starches that makes the freezer corn spectacular and helps it preserve well.  Scrape the dull side of your knife along the back of the cobs that you’ve already sawed kernels off of.  The wet mixture (plus some leftover corn pieces that are welcome in the mix) will be added.

4.  Add corn to a large stock pot.  Add sugar and salt according to the **table above and the amount of corn you are freezing.  Set pot over medium to medium high heat.  Stir corn frequently to prevent bottom burning and cook until mixture comes to a boil.

5. Immediately move off of heat.  Pour or scoop hot corn into flat baking sheets and pans to cool quickly.  Do not drain/strain the mixture.  The wet part of the corn mixture needs to be there for preserving in the freezer.

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6. Once corn mixture is cooled, place servings (we do 2 C servings of freezer corn for a family of 4 and 1 C servings for a family of 2) into quart baggies via funnel.  Press air out of bag.  Seal and lay flat.  If you flatten the bag so the corn freezes in a flat rectangle instead of a big tube, it will thaw faster when you’re ready to eat it.

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7. Freeze immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

8.  To thaw: place bag of corn in refrigerator on a plate overnight or on the counter for a couple of hours before supper.  For right-now enjoyment, remove from freezer, peel (or rip) the freezer baggie down the sides, turn the frozen corn brick into a pan over medium to medium high heat.  Stir continuously until corn is warmed through.

Here I am in my Mom’s kitchen… bagging away!

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