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Take Advantage Of Corn Season With 3 Unique Recipes

Grilled corn and chicken tacos on corn tortillas (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Grilled corn and chicken tacos on corn tortillas (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

It’s corn season, and Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst celebrates with recipes for a corn and potato curry, a corn, tomato, and basil tart, and corn and chicken tacos.

How To Cut Kernels Off The Cob

Many cooks have tricks for the best way to remove the kernels from a cob of corn. I like to keep it simple: place the shucked ear of corn in the middle of large bowl. Holding the cob with one hand, and working with a sharp knife, I cut down the cob removing the kernels and the milk (the white liquid) that is just beneath the kernels. Then I flip the cob over and get any remaining kernels from the other side. Keep the cobs for making corn stocks; see the curry recipe for more.

Corn and Potato Curry

The corn adds a deep sweetness to this simple curry. The turmeric adds a gorgeous yellow/saffron color and the potatoes become buttery in the coconut milk and ginger broth. You can serve the curry as is or over a bowl of steamed jasmine or basmati rice.

Serves 3 to 4.


  • 6 ears fresh corn, shucked with the kernels cut off the cobs (see “Cutting the Kernels off the Cob;” be sure to keep the cobs!)
  • 1 large potato or 6 baby potatoes, peeled or peel on, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • One 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Place the cobs in a large pot with the potatoes and 3 cups water. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and partially cover until the potatoes are tender and the water tastes sweet and slightly corn-like, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and let cool. Strain the corn stock and discard the cobs. You will only be using 1 cup of the corn stock; the rest can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for several months.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes. Add the ginger and the turmeric and cook another 2 minutes. Stir the potatoes into the mixture. Raise the heat to moderately high, stir in the corn and then add the coconut milk and 1 cup of the corn stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Add hot sauce to taste, salt and pepper if needed, and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve hot.

Corn, Tomato and Basil Tart

You can use a pre-made pastry shell to save time or make this buttery herb-flecked pastry a night ahead of time. The filling — fresh shucked corn, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan — is creamy and filling enough to make this tart a main course. Serve with a mixed greens.

Serves 4 to 6.


The Herb Pastry:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • About 1/3 cup ice cold water


  • One 8- to 9-inch prepared pie shell
  • The Corn and Tomato Filling:

    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 3 large or 4 medium ears corn, shucked with the kernels cut off the cobs (see “Cutting the Kernels off the cob)
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half widthwise (red, yellow and orange if possible)


    • Make the pastry: in a food processor, blend the flour, salt, herbs. Add the butter and pulse about 15 times, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add a bit of water, a few drops at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
    • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently place in a 9-inch French tart pan with a removable bottom or a pie plate. Trim the edges and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
    • Meanwhile make the filling: preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    • Scatter half the cheese on top of the pastry and place back in the refrigerator. In a large skillet heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook 8 minutes. Add the basil, thyme and rosemary and cook 30 seconds. Stir in the cream and raise the heat to moderate. Cook 3 minutes. Add the corn and cook another minute. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cheese.
    • Add the corn mixture into the chilled pastry and bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees, remove the tart and add the tomatoes, cut side down. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown and the mixture has thickened; when you gently shake the pan the filling shouldn’t appear too “wet.” Remove and cool 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

    Grilled Corn and Chicken Tacos on Corn Tortillas

    Corn tortillas have great texture and a deep corn flavor. When topped with this simple combination of sautéed corn and chicken (buy a rotisserie roasted chicken from the grocery store as a time saver) and a quick late-summer tomato salsa it’s deeply satisfying.

    I’m a big fan of the taste and texture of the corn tortillas made by Vida Tortilla — the company is New Hampshire grown and made using organic corn from a local farm.

    Serves 2 to 4.


    The Tomato Salsa:

    • 1 cup tomato, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped
    • About 1 tablespoon green chile pepper, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice

    The Corn and Tacos:

    • 3 ears corn
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 cup cooked chicken, cut into small cubes or shredded, optional

    4 to 6 corn tortillas*

  • About 1/2 cup cotija, cheddar, or feta cheese, crumbled or shredded
  • About 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Instructions

    1. Make the salsa: gently toss all the ingredients. Season to taste.
    2. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Place a grill rack over the heat.
    3. Shuck the corn. Roll the corn in the oil, salt and pepper. Grill about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 4 to 5 minutes. The corn should have good grill marks. Remove from the grill but do not turn the grill off. Let the corn cool for a minute and then chop the kernels off the cob working in a large bowl; see “Cutting the Kernels off the Cob” above. Mix the warm grilled corn kernels with the lime juice, chicken, salt and pepper.
    4. Bring the tortillas and cheese out to the grill on a plate. Grill the tortillas for 20 to 30 seconds (just to warm them up) and then flip them over. Divide the cheese between the tortillas and close the lid. Grill about 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted.
    5. Place the hot tortillas on a plate and divide the corn/chicken mixture between them. Top with salsa, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream and serve with lime wedge.

    Looking for more corn recipes? Click here.

    This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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