When people ask me what my favorite cuisine/dish/vegetable/fruit is, I can never give a straightforward answer. Perhaps it makes me sound indecisive when I start going on about my mood and the seasons, but asking someone who’s life’s passion is food, to pick just one is a bit like asking a parent which of their children they like the best.
That said, corn definitely falls towards the top of my list of favorite vegetables, and every year around this time, it’s on my table almost daily, usually just boiled with a little cultured butter. But like most things, too much of a good thing gets old, which is why I decided to pair it with another one of my favorite foods: bacon!
This is as simple as caramelizing some shallots in rendered bacon fat and then sautéing the corn in it. Hitting the hot pan with a bit of apple cider vinegar at the end creates a warm vinaigrette that coats each kernel of corn with the smoky flavor of the bacon and provides just enough acidity to keep it from getting too heavy. A little nutmeg and basil added at the end broadens the palette keeping this warm salad interesting to the last bite.
One of the best things about sautéing fresh corn is that unlike boiled corn, you don’t lose any flavor into the water. Also, the high temperature achieves a bit of caramelization, further sweetening the corn while retaining its fresh crisp texture.
Corn with Bacon Vinaigrette
- 2 ears of corn
- 2.7 ounces (75 grams) bacon (2 thick-cut slices), chopped into corn-size pieces
- 1.8 ounces (50 grams) shallot (1 large shallot), minced
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- .53 ounces (15 grams) basil, julienned
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Shuck the corn, remove any silk clinging to the cob and then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.
- Break up the kernels with your fingers so there are are no large chunks remaining.
- Saute the shallots and bacon over medium high heat until the shallots are browned and some fat has rendered out of the bacon.
- Add the corn and saute until the corn is cooked through (it will go from opaque to slightly translucent).
- Add the nutmeg salt, and basil and toss to distribute evenly.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and toss to coat. Serve warm.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.