Now that fall is starting to roll in, my wife expressed interest in one her favorite foods: fresh corn. She enjoys it prepared any way: in a salsa, grilled with some chili-lime butter or made into a soup. Corn became one of her favorite foods as a broke college student. Her favorite recipe was corn and broccoli, the frozen kind from a bag, microwaved on high and nothing else. I’m still learning to appreciate this dish.

corn soupNow that she has a live-in chef, we have diversified her palate with some new offerings. The latest favorite is a corn, bacon and potato chowder. It is a rich, smoky soup with just enough texture from the potatoes to make it a meal on its own. There are numerous recipes online for every variation, but my favorite is a southwest version with cumin, cilantro and roasted peppers. You can add red peppers for flavor or for more spice add roasted poblanos or jalapeños. Side note: add the corn cobs to the chowder while it is simmering, it will add more corn flavor.

If you’re in the mood for something lighter and the monotony of the usual chips and dips has left you taste buds bored, try a grilled corn, pepper and black bean salsa. Start by firing up grill. You can do this inside, but you might smoke out your kitchen and honestly it’s too hot to cook inside right now. Throw a couple of peppers on the grill to start with. Any combination of red, yellow, poblano or jalapeño will work. I find a 2 part mild pepper to 1 hot pepper works well, but if you like the heat, have at it. After those have roasted off, place in an airtight container or plastic bag to steam for a while. After they have steamed the outer skin will peel off and the peppers can be deseeded.

corn saladNext, grill off a couple of ears of cleaned corn on the cob. Once they have a little char on them, take them of the grill and set aside. Last up, grill some red onions. I find it easiest to just cut them in half from root to stem, peel off the outer layer and grill for 10 to 15 minutes. This way the entire onion is cooked, but some of the onion gets a nice char.

To finish the salsa, slice the kernels off the corn cob, chop up the onions and dice up the peppers and place in a mixing bowl. Add in one can of rinsed black beans, some olive oil, chopped cilantro and season with lime juice, salt and pepper. You can serve the salsa with some tortilla chips or it also makes a nice accompaniment for grilled meats or seafood.

These are just a few ideas to get you started using fall corn.

What’s your favorite corn dish?