Slow Cooker Chili Cheese Corn

One of my favorite things to do in the summer (around July 4th here in Indiana) is to buy a lot of sweet corn and put it up for the winter. And I do mean a lot of sweet corn. For the two of us that often means 100-150 ears at once. It’s a good day’s work, but well worth it later in the year, specially when I can use it to make great-tasting dishes like this slow cooker chili cheese corn. I really enjoy cooking corn in the slow cooker. The corn keeps it’s light crunch, and all of the sweetness. Add bit of roasted green chiles and cream cheese and you have a truly fantastic side dish.
For a little more kick, use diced roasted jalapenos instead. Or for less kick, roast a poblano (or even green bell pepper) under your broiler until blackened, then remove the burnt skin, seeds and chop. No matter what you use, it’ll add a nice contrast to the sweetness and creaminess of the corn.

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Slow Cooker Chili Cheese Corn
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (4 ounce can fire-roasted chopped green chilies
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the slow cooker in the order listed.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the cheese has melted.

Sweet Corn Season 2016

I wait. And I wait. For that moment, each year, that first day, when My Dad’s Sweet Corn announces the corn is ready. Their sweet corn is absolutely amazing. Sweet and juicy and perfect. On that day, the first day, when it is at its peak, I rush to the farmer’s market early in the morning and I load up. And I load up big. Sweet corn season 2016 has begun.
Sweet Corn Season 2016Having such fantastic sweet corn on hand in winter makes the winter seem a lot less harsh. It reminds me of summer and warm sunny days. That beats the heck out of shoveling snow, that’s for sure!

Quickly blanching the corn and shocking it in an ice bath keeps the corn tasty and sweet. I add a bit of sugar to the water to make up for the flavor that is lost with the first batch or two. After that the water is full of corn flavored goodness, so every batch comes out tasting great.

Sweet Corn Season 2016
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Sweet corn-on-the-cob (I had 6 baker's dozen worth)
  • A large pot (one with a pasta insert works best)
  • An outdoor propane burner (you can use your stovetop, but it's going to be messy)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 large bags of ice
  • A large cooler
  • Long tongs
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • A large bowl (or two)
  • Vacuum-sealable baggies
  • Vacuum sealer
Instructions
  1. Shuck the corn just before beginning.
  2. Place the pot onto the lit burner or stovetop over high heat.
  3. Add the sugar and stir and let the water come to a brisk boil.
  4. Add the ice to the cooler and fill nearly to the top with cold water.
  5. Working in batches, add 8 ears of corn to the pot (you can add more if your pot is large, but do not crowd them or they won't cook evenly).
  6. Return the water to a boil and boil for exactly 4 minutes. No more.
  7. Remove the corn from the pot and immediately transfer to the ice bath.
  8. You can start the next batch of corn. As soon as it starts to boil, remove the corn from the ice bath (test to make sure it's nice and cold) and transfer to a cutting board.
  9. Cut the kernels from the ears. I stand the ears on the cut end at about a 75 degree angle then carefully run my knife from top to bottom, removing about 75% of the kernels. I think having the ear at a slight angle and using a very sharp knife reduces the amount of kernels that fly off all over the place. Don't cut all the way to the ear.
  10. Transfer cut kernels to a large bowl and continue cooking, cooling and cutting the ears until all done.
  11. If any kernels are stuck together use your hands to break them apart in the bowl.
  12. Transfer kernels to the bags. Two cups equals about a can of corn, but I usually add 3 cups to a 1 quart bag.
  13. Try to not get the inside of the bag opening wet when filling. This may cause the bags to not seal properly. If you do get them wet dry them off with a paper towel.
  14. Transfer the bags to the freezer for 4-6 hours or until the liquid is frozen.
  15. Seal the vacuum bags with your sealer and freeze until needed. I use the 'moist' and 'gentle' settings on my sealer to help ensure a good seal.

Grilled Corn Disks with Southwestern Butter

We loved the grilled corn disks with honey butter that we made recently. Sweet corn is in season here in Indiana, and that’s always a good thing. Nothing beats fresh sweet corn. But, I after eating those yummy little bites dipped in sweet honey and butter, I figured, well, I need something with a bit more kick. So I made grilled corn disks with southwestern butter. Equally as good as the sweet version, but with a little kick. The heat is the perfect contrast to the corn’s natural sweetness.

Grilled Corn Disks with Southwestern ButterLeftover butter (if you have any) goes on anything, but it’s specially good on corn bread or biscuits.

Grilled Corn Disks with Southwestern Butter
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ears fresh sweet corn, cut into 1" disks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  2. Place the corn disks in a large bowl and drizzle with the oil and toss to coat.
  3. Place corn on the grill and cook 5-10 minutes per side until the corn is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients.
  5. Brush the cooked corn with some of the butter mixture.
  6. Serve corn garnished with parsley along with the remaining butter for dipping.

 

Grilled Corn Disks with Honey Butter

July 4th marks the beginning of corn season here in Indiana. It’s when the best corn starts to become available at our local farmer’s markets. Nothing beats fresh sweet corn… unless you have something even sweeter to put on it. These grilled corn disks with honey butter are easy to make and look and taste great.

Grilled Corn Disks with Honey ButterIf you want to kick the honey butter even more, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper and throw a few jalapeno rings in with the corn disks.

Grilled Corn Disks with Honey Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ears fresh sweet corn, cut into 1" disks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  2. Place the corn disks in a large bowl and drizzle with the oil and toss to coat.
  3. Place corn on the grill and cook 5-10 minutes per side until the corn is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the butter, salt and honey.
  5. Brush the cooked corn with some of the honey butter.
  6. Serve corn garnished with parsley along with the remaining honey butter for dipping.

 

Putting up corn for the Winter

Winters here can be rather long. We like to put up some sweet corn for those cold, gray months – it’s like summer in a bag. Just as sweet and juicy as the day it was picked.

The only corn we buy is from My Dad’s Sweet Corn, from nearby Tipton, Indiana. Fortunately for us we don’t have to drive to Tipton since MDSC is at all of our local farmer’s markets.

I wait until the corn is at its peak. This year it was the week after July 4th. Last year, I bought 5 dozen ears (they actually sell them as baker’s dozens). Because of the drought in 2012, the corn, although as sweet as always, was certainly smaller than it is most years. This year, the weather has been great and the corn was absolutely fantastic. So… I bought over 100 ears! Yes, 8 dozen. Two 100 pound potato sacks worth (fortunately they helped me get it to my car)! Well, we now have enough corn for winter, that’s for sure!

There are probably other ways of putting corn up for the winter. This is how I do it. I am always looking for ideas, though, so if you also put corn up and you do it differently, please respond in the comments so we can share ideas.

Eight dozen corn ears. Actually, it came to 108 ears total. Quite the load!

Putting up corn for the WinterBeautiful corn harvest this year. Sweet and yummy!

Putting up corn for the WinterBoiling a batch in a 30-quart stock pot over a Bayou Classic Outdoor Gas Cooker. You can do this inside on a stove too, of course, but it’s a little less messy outdoors.

Putting up corn for the Winter

Putting up corn for the Winter
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 100 ears of fresh sweet corn (picked that day)
  • A large pot (I used a 30 quart stock pot with a basket)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 22 pound bags ice
  • 1 large cooler (I used an old 60 quart Igloo)
  • 1 large bath towel
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 small glass bowl
  • 1 small towel
  • I sharp chef's knife
  • Vacuum freezer bags and vacuum sealer
Instructions
  1. Shuck the corn. Yes, it might take a while. Just pull up a chair and get to it. And the silk? I've found it's just easier to remove them by hand, even though there are tons of gadgets out there that supposedly do it better. Shucking corn is quality time for me. Enjoy it!
  2. Put the ice into the cooler and add water to nearly fill it to the top. This will be the ice bath used to stop the corn from cooking after you remove it from the boiling water.
  3. Fill your pot with water and place over high heat and bring to a boil. I use an outdoor propane burner from Bayou Classics. It boils water in a jiffy, and as an added bonus it sounds really cool.
  4. Add the sugar to the water. I do this because I believe that the first batch of corn loses some sweetness to the water, so I add a bit of sugar. After the first batch, the water gets flavor from the corn so I no longer add any more sugar.
  5. Add the corn in batches, but do not overcrowd. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove corn to the ice bath and start your next batch boiling.
  7. As soon as the corn is cold remove it to the bath towel and dry it just slightly. You don't have to get it perfect,you just want to sop up and excess water. You can also just shake the excess water off.
  8. Put the small bowl, upside down, in the center of the large bowl. Cover the small bowl with the small towel. This is where you will cut the kernels from the corn. The towel keeps the ears from sliding around (and you getting cut).
  9. Take each ear and stand it straight up (shank side down) on the small bowl and towel. Holding it at the very tip, run your knife down the sides, close to the ear, cutting off all of the kernels. The kernels will fall into the big bowl, preventing you from making a big mess! Get as much as the kernel goodness as you can.
  10. Continue working in batches until all of the corn has been boiled and the kernels removed.
  11. Now, place the kernels into the vacuum bags. I use quart-sized bags and put about 4 cups in each bag. This is roughly the equivalent of 2 cans of corn.
  12. Place the bags into the freezer unsealed. You want the corn to nearly freeze first. Otherwise the moisture will make it impossible to seal them.
  13. After a few hours, remove the bags and seal them per your sealer's instructions.
  14. Note: If you have room in your freezer, it is worth saving some of the water you boiled the corn in for soups or chowders.

 

Fiesta Corn

I was making our favorite tacos the other night when I decided I really wanted some sweet corn with them (along with some easy jazzed-up refried beans). I found a bag of the best sweet corn (from My Dad’s Sweet Corn in Tipton, Indiana) in the freezer and made this great Fiesta corn side dish. If you’re not lucky enough to have My Dad’s Sweet Corn, canned will do, but trust me… it’s not the same (but still good)!Fiesta Corn

Every summer I put up a huge batch of local fresh sweet corn for the winter. It takes a bit of work, but it is so worth it in the dead of winter. Nothing beats being able to have (almost) fresh corn when there’s a few feet of snow on the ground!

Fiesta Corn
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups frozen sweet corn, thawed (or 1 can sweet corn)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (parsley also works just fine)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the peppers and saute until just softened.
  3. Add the corn, chili powder, and salt. Stir. Heat through.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

 

Mexican Corn Soup

We don’t ever need an excuse to eat good ole sweet corn from My Dad’s Sweet Corn in nearby Tipton, Indiana. When it is at its peak in the summer we go to our local Binford farmer’s market and load up. We blanch it and freeze it for the winter time, when eating it reminds us of summer and warmer weather.Mexican Corn SoupThis Mexican corn soup from Ingrid Hoffman is a great way to showcase a good sweet corn. True, I strayed from the original recipe, but the end result was great nonetheless!

Mexican Corn Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups frozen, thawed corn kernels (or two cans, drained), divided
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 cup Tortilla strips
Instructions
  1. Place 1/2 of the corn, both tomatoes,half of the chicken broth and oregano into a blender. Process until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add sausage and cook until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Add the onion and cook until it is starting to soften.
  5. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  6. Add the corn/tomato puree and the remaining corn. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue simmering for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the cream and half of the parsley.
  10. Serve garnished with cheese crumbles and tortilla strips.

 

Crispy Corn Fritters

Whoa, these crispy corn fritters were good. I had some sweet corn in the freezer left from our favorite corn farm, My Dad’s Sweet Corn in Tipton, Indiana. Their corn is so sweet and delicious. It made these fritters into something special!Crispy Corn Fritters

I served these with our favorite Southwestern sauce.

Crispy Corn Fritters
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14
 
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels (you can substitute a drained can of corn, about 2 cups, but you'll want to double the rest of the recipe)
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Southwestern sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the corn and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until the corn turns golden brown.
  3. Add the green onion and bell peppers and saute 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables just start to soften.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
  5. Combine the Bisquick, Creole seasoning and lime zest in a large bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour into the Bisquick mixture and stir.
  7. Pour the vegetables into the Bisquick mixture and combine.
  8. Heat a deep fryer with oil to 375 F. Or you can use a Dutch oven with about 2" of oil added.
  9. Working in batches, drop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the oil. Fry about 1 minute, then flip and cook another 30 seconds-1 minute or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  10. Serve with Southwester sauce for dipping and/or drizzle the fritters with the sauce.