Fresh Fried Corn (Shucking, Silking, Cooking, and Freezing)

Yum

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Lay out a table with every dish imaginable, absolutely everything under the sun, and if there is fresh fried corn on that table, newhouse-067you’ll know where to find me.

There is nothing in this world like the flavor of fresh corn, shucked and cut off the cob and cooked up in a skillet. No matter how hard companies may try (and I do appreciate their efforts!), no frozen or canned corn can even come close. The taste is night and day, as if it were two different vegetables entirely.

When we were little, shucking corn was a family affair. Mama would put a few buckets on the front porch and we’d each get our own brush and then everyone would set to work. We’d shuck a few bushels (at least) and she’d set to cutting it off the cob and cooking it up for everyone. I remember being able to have all the corn we wanted at dinner but it seems now that I’m grown and have my own family, I can never have such bounty. No matter how much I make, we always want more.

If you don’t grow your own corn and aren’t lucky enough to have a neighbor who does, keep an eye out on your grocery stores for a sale. Often times you can find ears four or five for a dollar. I snatched up eight ears recently when Piggly Wiggly had them for twenty five cents an ear. I just love Piggly Wiggly. The old folks call it Hoggly Woggly.

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You’ll need fresh corn, a stiff brush, a bit of margarine, salt, pepper, and water.

If you were raised right, you’ll need bacon grease :).

If you weren’t raised right, there is nothing wrong with converting now.

For the brush, you can just get a nice stiff dish brush, it’ll do just fine. Mama says back in the day no one bought their corn silk brush. The Fuller Brush man would go door to door and he’d give you one in hopes you’d order some things from his catalog. They sold brushes, brooms, and cleaning supplies and such.

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Peel back the husks on your ear of corn..

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Like so

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Remove what silks you can with your hand.

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Then take hold of all of the husks at the base and…

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Break it off.

If kids are watching, you should make a big GRRR sound when you do this and act like you are straining really hard. It will impress them, honest.

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Here is our almost ready ear of corn. There are a few silks left on it that we need to get at though.

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If you take your stiff brush and just brush against the directions of the silks, that should do the trick. You may have to grab at a few and pull them off. If a few end up in your corn, the world won’t end. In fact, you won’t really notice because once you taste this, I doubt you’ll find time to draw breath again until you are done devouring as much as you can possibly fit onto your plate.

But maybe that’s just me. :)

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Here is our corn. It wants to be cooked. It wants us to eat it. It wants to make us happy.

Good corn.

I am using eight ears and it was enough for four of us to have generous helpings of. However, I could have used sixteen ears and we would have eaten all of that, too. I know I keep going on and on about that but I’m stressing a point here.

Did I mention how much I love fried corn?

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This is one of my favorite super-sharp knives and if you think it is awkward trying to hold a super sharp knife, an ear of corn, and focus and photograph at the same time, you’re right on the money. :) Bear with me.

Take each ear and stand it up like so. Run your knife blade down the side to cut the kernels off. HOWEVER, you don’t want to cut them off right at the ear, you want to leave a bit of the kernel bottom on the ear for the scrapings. The scrapings are what is going to give our fried corn it’s body. So basically, try to cut about 3/4 of the kernel off but leave the rest.

Mama likes to place her ear of corn in the center of an angel food cake pan and then cut the kernels off and scrape it. The center of the pan helps hold the ear and the kernels and scrapings fall right into the pan below. I would do this if I ever actually used an angel food cake pan enough that I didn’t have to go hunt it down when I wanted to shuck corn. Angel food pan = tube pan.

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Kernels cut off, ready to scrape!

See how all of the little holes in the cob are filled? In the next picture you’ll know what I’m talking about better.

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Take the blade of your knife and scrape down the corn cob. See how the holes are empty now?

We’ve gotten all of that good pulp out of there.

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If you have stuff all over your hands like I do, you’ve done good!

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Here is our corn all ready to go!

I know this smells good but you don’t want to eat it now. This is due to reasons which I do not feel need documenting on a food blog. Trust me on this.

Cook

Corn

First.

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Now, in a large skillet, put about two tablespoons of butter or margarine and a tablespoon or so of bacon grease.

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Add your corn and about a 1/2 cup of water.

How much water you end up needing is really dependent on your corn. Some corn will be starchier and need more, some corn will be thin and actually need thickening. For my corn here, I actually ended up needing a cup of water. If your corn ends up looking a little thin, you can stir in a tablespoon of corn starch or flour in with two or three tablespoons of water (mix it up pretty well) and then add that to your corn.

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Salt and pepper to taste. This is always a very personal thing. I am using about 1/2 tsp pepper but if you prefer a more peppery corn, by all means add more!

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I added about 1/2 tsp salt too. These are good starting points but most people add more.

In general, if you are preparing a meal for guests you should always under-season and then allow them to season their food to their personal taste.

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Bring that to a bit of a boil and then lower the temperature of the stove eye to allow it to just simmer. Stir it often and cook for about thirty minutes.

One of my reader’s (Hey Dianna!) posted a comment back when I announced that I was getting a new kitchen with a house attached and asked me what I meant by stove eyes.

Dianna: OK. I gotta ask. What do you mean your stove has five eyes? I’ve never heard of a stove having eyes. You also said, “turn off the eye” in your Sweet Tea post. Is my stove watching me?

Okay, this was an eye opener for me! I had to call Mama and ask her what else they could possibly be called. She informed me that in other places they refer to them as “burners”.  I’ve always heard them called eyes. I know, I really do need to get out more.

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Yum, YUM, YUM!!

I could just dive into a vat of this, I swear.

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This is a photo from last summer of a bushel of corn after I had shucked it. I put up three bushels last year.

Fresh Fried Corn
 
Ingredients
  • Fresh ears of corn (I am using eight for this)
  • margarine
  • salt and pepper
  • water
  • bacon grease (optional but oh so good)
Instructions
  1. Shuck and remove silks from corn. Cut kernels off cob with a sharp knife, leaving about ¼ of the kernel. Scrape cobs clean with the blade of the knife. Place about 2 T margarine and 1 T bacon grease in skillet. Add corn and corn pulp. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add ½ cup water (more if needed).
  2. Bring to a slight boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking and stirring for about thirty minutes.
  3. If putting this up for the freezer, just cook about half way through and then cool and place in freezer bags or containers and label. Thaw when ready to use and cook for half an hour just as described above.

Who needs watchdogs?

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This is Henry. He is one of our squirrels.

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Watching Henry from the sun room is one of Daz’s favorite activities now.

If squirrels ever try to take over the world, I think we have a pretty good early warning system. Unless..

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…it’s Thumbcat’s shift.

We’re officially living in our new house but the unpacking may take a few weeks due to the fevered schedule at school as the year comes to a close. I ache for summer break!

It’s wonderful to be able to walk into the kitchen and look out over my gardens each morning, especially now that we live in a house big enough that me walking into the kitchen and making coffee doesn’t wake everyone! I’ve had a wonderful time walking around the yard, getting to know the place a bit. My heart is in flowers right now. I want them everywhere and I’m doing my best not to be heartsick that I can’t afford more! ~grins~

I have a few small pots on the front porch (they really need to be bigger to be in better proportion but you work with what ya got!) and another small pot on the back porch. Katy picked out a geranium and we have it sitting at the top step. I am longing for overflowing baskets of flowers and ferns around my doorway but am going to be content that I have the doorway to begin with!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week and thank you all so much for the emails and comments. I cannot tell you enough how much I love reading over the comments throughout the day. Two more weeks til school is out and I can devote a little more time to responding!

In my next post, I’m going to tell you all about my move, what I fed everyone, and a little more about the new town we live in now. I did the tutorial on Jiffy Poke cake, too, so I’ll bring that to you soon as well!

I am so very grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my ramblings!

Gratefully,

Christy :)

P.S. I have a name for my new home, and a neat story behind it. I’ll tell ya soon! It really did name itself but a reader had a hand in letting me know that!

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I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive & everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

– Author unknown

Contributed by Southern Plate reader, Jay. To contribute your uplifting or positive quote, please click here.

Yum

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Comments

  1. Peggy Watson says

    Christy,
    Why do you precook your corn before freezing? My mom use to do that very thing, but I just bag the cut-off corn & corn on the cob into freezer bags without precooking the corn….freezing kills anything that may have been overlooked anyway & I think the corn taste much fresher when you do cook it to eat than when it’s precooked before freezing. Not precooking it before freezing just saves a great bit of time. Anyway it’s done, corn is outstanding!
    Sorry I missed your celebration, couldn’t make it…congratulations!

    • Becki C says

      Blanching it for a few minutes in boiling water doesn’t cook it all the way through, but it will kill most of the existing microbes that accelerate spoilage or will cause illness. Corn and some other low acid foods have microbes that will continue to grow without exposure to oxygen. Freezing won’t kill the microbes it just suspends the growth. I’m not an expert, but check out the site for the National Center for Home Food Preservation http://nchfp.uga.edu/ for more guidance of freezing, canning & preserving.

  2. Elizabeth says

    Stove “eyes” is a Southern thing..I had not heard them called anything else until I went away to college! It’s just one of those nice little things that sets us apart.

  3. Christie says

    I cut corn completely differently and shuck it differently too and I’m Sand Mountain Southern and there isn’t much more Southern than that!

    I lay the corn flat on the cutting board and cut it with my largest chef’s knife. The kernels do not fly all over the kitchen. Then I milk it with the back of the knife.

    When I shuck corn, I cut off the top tip and the bottom to the kernels. I put 3 at a time in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. I take it out and put in the next three. Then I peel the shucks off and it takes the silks with it and you don’t even have any left on the cob. I learned this a while ago and you wouldn’t believe how much easier it is!

    Instead of water, I use milk in my fried corn. I’ve never used water. One thing about it though, no matter how you cook it, fresh fried corn is one of the best things about summer!

  4. Barbara says

    My mom would grate the ears having just the milk of the corn. Then she cooked it as you do! How wonderful it tasted. We never had the kernels in the mixture. I’m from Vidalia where the delicious onions grow. Lived
    in the big city, Atlanta, since 1968. Love your site and look forward to it each day.

  5. Jackie Ammons says

    My very Southern Daddy (yes, Daddy) always cut off just the tips of the kernels, cut again, the scraped earof corn. Granny taught us all to cook it in the oven with pretty much the same ingredients as you use. Cooked on 350 and “stirred twice”. Not sure how long she cooked it between sttirrings, but any Southern cook can tell when it is done. Oh,my! What good eating along with a plated full of other veggies!

  6. Melinda says

    :-) OK, you passed muster. Creamed/Fried Corn is the recipe by which I judge if a person can truly cook Southern or not. I could smell it cooking (in my memory:-) while I read! (we call ’em Stove eyes as well..)

  7. Ibbie Denise says

    Oh, so glad I found your site! Read about it in Alfa’s Friends and Family. I found about fried corn from my mother in law, gotta tell ya, that woman could cook! I don’t really like to cook, but I do love to eat, so…….yeah. My mama wanted me in the kitchen to wash dishes and stay out from underfoot (I’m the youngest of 7) so I was a late kitchen bloomer! My mother in law gave me a cookbook and I took it from there. I do remember my grandma making cathead biscuits in an old wooden dough bowl, and rolling them in her hands like a ball, flattening them slightly and daubing the tops with bacon grease. She put them in a cast iron skillet that was hot from the oven and it made a good crust that way. What I wouldn’t give to eat her cooking now…..

  8. Michelle says

    When preparing corn for the freezer a Indian friend of mine said to put the corn in the dishwasher on the rinse and dry cycle. This does the same as boiling the corn until half done. I have used this technique and it works GREAT!! The corn also taste as if it just came from the garden.

  9. william winstead says

    using a brush is too much trouble. I go buy a baby bottle brush every year (can never find the old one) and cut the wire handle off about 3 inches below the bottom bristles and chuck it up in my cordless drill. it removes all the silk and because of the softer bristles does not damage the silk. can go thru a bushel of corn in just a few minutes.
    p.s. I do this outside or in olr deep sink to limit the mess.

  10. Emma M says

    Love fried corn also. Just like other readers with their Moms, I think too that mine was the greatest cook and I loved her fried corn.
    Thanks for all your recipes and your web site.

  11. Barbara J says

    I’ve loved fried corn all my life…my cousin use to say “he loved it more than a mule!” I was brought up the southern way and use bacon grease or fat back. I shuck the corn, and silks come off easily with a plain paper towel. I cut the kernels off, and use a spoon (instead of a knife) to scrape the “milk” from the corn. Salt, pepper, water (and a bit of sugar) is what I was taught. Have to constantly watch and stir this delicious southern fried dish, or it will stick and burn. It’s ready to eat in 30 minutes…I love it!

  12. Margaret says

    I’m really curious, non-country folks might not get this, do you prefer sweet corn or field corn. This Alabama cook loves loves loves field corn. If you run out of your home frozen corn, that frozen stuff in a tube at the grocery store is ok if you add some frozen whole kernal corn to it, bout half and half. When I get to freeze some field corn, I put it raw into a freezer carton and using a spoon to ease the water in, I put at least 1/2 inch water on top of it. The layer of ice protects the corn and it tastes like you just went to the field and got it. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by corn fields and farmers who don’t mind if I poach a few ears.

  13. Eva says

    Never had enough corn to make this, but have had parched corn (dried and then heated in a skillet) (dried on the cob not cut off and dried) and had hominy made from the dried corn (not parched) but momma didn’t make stuff that needed to be canned in a pressure canner, her old one was dicey to use at the best of times, and until we got a freezer when I was 8 she never had the luxury to freeze, and by then she was so ill, the garden went downhill and we never had corn for anything after that, it was very expensive here as its hard to grow good corn way up here in the north. I live in Northeast BC Canada, and we have a short season, so getting the stuff planted and grown large enough can be fun. I have friends who have a market garden, so will give this a try this fall, maybe even put some in the freezer.

  14. Eliza More says

    I use to shuck the way you showed, until last year when my husband was watching and he goes why don’t you do that an easier way? Like how? I said. He walks over takes a large butcher knife and takes the corn cuts off the bottom (part you normally break off last) and then slides the corn out….we’ve been together almost 17yrs and now he shows me this???

    • says

      lol! Well leave it to a man to simplify things for a change, lol. (I say that in good humor, as most of the men in my life do the opposite). I’ve tried that way and it didn’t work as well for me. Maybe you just have a better teacher! I’ll concede that :)

  15. Jennifer says

    Dang y’all are still in school?? This was our first week out! I guess when I go back the first week of August, y’all will still be enjoying summer. Love your blog as always!

  16. Claire says

    I make “grandma’s corn” when you can get corn from the local roadside stands. If it’s not fresh, local and non GMO it has a flat taste. Grandma used to add some yellow cornmeal in with the liquid and a ton more butter and bacon grease. It makes sort of a corn porridge. If friends hear that I’m making it, they invite themselves to dinner!

  17. Sandra says

    Stove “eyes.” LOL I laughed so hard and before I read that you called your mama to find out what else they could be called my husband and I both were trying to figure it out also. By the way, I’m originally from Alabama but live in SC now, so I’m Southern as they come. I loved this. I use the method of putting my corn in the shucks in the microwave about 3-4 mins. and cut the bottom off and the corn slides out with no silks. It’s amazing. I normally don’t buy more than a dozen ears at a time, and put 2 ears at a time in microwave for about 8-9 minutes – varies according to microwave strength, so the time microwaving is worth it to me. Enjoy you so much Christy!

    • Vicky T says

      I just started doing this (in the microwave) this summer and we love it! I think leaving it in the husk to cook kind of steams the corn so it doesn’t overcook. And I LOVE that the silk comes off with the husk!!! If you haven’t tried it yet, please do. You will be amazed.

  18. Joyce says

    I used this recipe and boy was I satisfied. My grandmother use to cook her corn the same way and I had been looking for the recipe for some time. It turned out great. Now my family members are bringing me their corn over to cook for them :-)

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