As I am spending the month in Kittanning, Pa., working my father’s estate, I can’t help but drift back to the roots of this small town: farming. Since it is July and we are in the midst of “corn growing season,” I thought it would be appropriate to give you some insight on how to best incorporate corn into your banquet menus.
What I like about corn is it is such a versatile vegetable, yet, in banqueting, we never cook it as such. Can we get anymore boring than yellow mini corn on the cobb or corn with diced red pepper? Instead, let’s look at corn and consider the flexibility that it truly has but is never used. Let’s start with the facts. Corn is easy to cook, has a low food cost and even comes in different flavors. It can be grilled, steamed or sauteed, cooked with the husk on or off, and even served with flavored butters, herbs, seasonings and lime. As you are reading this think to yourself, what other vegetable offers such a variety of preparation methods?
When writing your next event menus, consider these simple suggestions for taking your new-found knowledge of corn and applying it to your banqueting scenario:
- Make corn into an action station. I do a station that is so popular, the guests go nuts over it. I call it Claire’s Corn Off The Cobb Station — where fresh corn is cut off the cobb, then sautéed in front of the guests with their choice of flavored butters and seasonings. This is always a winner.
- Or, if you are doing a grill station for a smaller amount of people, simply add corn to the grill. The flavor of corn from the grill with a simple herb butter will leave your guests talking.
This is my story for now and I am sticking to it.