It would be hard to find an American who doesn't know that the Native Americans in New England in the 17th century introduced the Pilgrims to corn and that corn had a lot to do with the Pilgrims' survival in those first tough winters. And so, corn is a must-have on every Thanksgiving table and is an entirely American food. Mostly it is eaten on the cob, with butter, salt and pepper. It's hard to improve on that simple but tasty dish, but those who declare themselves bored with the traditional way of eating corn can find other ways to partake.
Corn chowder, most often made with cream-style corn, potatoes, milk, onions and seasonings, makes a fall meal a regular harvest celebration. Chowder often has a starring role as the first course in that most important harvest celebration known as Thanksgiving.
As a Pizza Topping
Corn as a pizza topping is coming into its own. It complements such usual pizza toppings as cheese, peppers and onions but adds a different taste and texture to the familiar mix.
August is high-corn month -- the stalks are high and corn on the cob is abundant and delicious. It's the perfect time to mix fresh corn with green pepper and tomatoes for a summertime salad.
If you have ever lived or traveled in the South, you know the pleasures of cornbread. Purely a North American concoction, its basic ingredients are cornmeal, water and salt. After that, well, you just never know what you are going to get. What you do know, however, is that it will always be delicious.
Corn souffle, or casserole, nearly always makes an appearance at Thanksgiving, along with dressing, turkey and cranberries. Even if the dressing is made from cornbread, as it usually is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, corn souffle won't be dropped from the menu. For some, no amount of corn is too much.
When warm August days are just a memory, the corn relish that you put up adds a spark of summer to fall dinners of roasted rosemary chicken and red potatoes.
Grilled Corn and Garlic Butter
Corn is at home on the grill with other vegetables such as green onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Grilling gives the corn a smoky taste that gets a kick from a garlic butter topping.
Corn might be a vegetable, but fritters turn it into a sweet treat. Made of milk, sugar, flour, eggs and corn and cooked in hot oil for a crispy covering, fritters are served with powdered sugar or maple syrup.
Special Toppings for Corn on the Cob
If you really just want your corn simple -- steamed on the cob -- but you want a little adventure, change the toppings. Try a mix of mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, chile powder and lime.
A deep-dish cornbread crust gives this American favorite a Southern twist. It's easy to make, too. All you need is a package of corn muffin mix, a little milk, and Parmesan cheese. For homemade crust, use yeast, flour, water, and cornmeal. Don't forget to add your favorite toppings!