Cook Corn in a Butter Milk Bath

Every summer I go to social media and scream that corn doesn’t need to be cooked and then I eat a lot of raw corn (mostly in “salads”, which are really just plates of seasoned corn). But I’m no taller than a cooked ear or seven. I like the roast, I like the steamed , I like it peeled and fried in greasy bacon. But the easiest and most delicious way to make grains plump, juicy, and lightly oiled is to soak the corn in a bath of butter and milk.

Midwest People: I won’t tell you what you didn’t already know. A butter and milk bath is a fairly common way to cook a bunch of corn, but to me (the number one number one raw corn eater in the country) it’s pretty new. I love this for several reasons. It’s quick – your corn is ready-to-eat already buttered in less than 15 minutes – and your only limiting factor is your pot size. Aside from corn, all you need is some water, some butter, and a cup of milk. You let the corn float in the boiling milk bath for a little over five minutes and then eat it. Perhaps you will salt it first. It depends on you.

As I mentioned, corn comes out lightly buttered, so this is perfect for those of you who complain that “good sweet corn doesn’t need oil.” The melted butter mixes with the milk, forming a kind of oily stain on the surface that covers the ears when you remove them. However, it is best to reduce the heat a few minutes before removing the corn from the pot – the boiling butter and milk will slip away immediately. If you want more butter for your corn, you can always add half a stick and reduce the amount of milk by a quarter cup. Or you can brush it with a piece of bread . Both options are good.

Aside from butter, the real beauty of this method is that it produces the juiciest corn I’ve ever eaten. The mixture of milk and butter gets caught between super plump grains, keeping everything moist and flavorful. If you like, you can add a handful of herbs or chili flakes to your bath for extra flavor, but sweet summer corn rarely needs this. To cook poached corn in milk and butter, you will need:

  • 6-8 ears of corn
  • 4-5 glasses of water
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

Remove the husks and silk from the corn and cut the ears in half if desired. Fill a medium to large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add milk and butter, reduce heat to simmer, then add corn. Simmer for about 6 minutes, then reduce heat and let cool for about 3 minutes. Remove the corn from the tub, season with salt if desired, and enjoy.


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