At just about this time of year, everyone is enjoying sweet corn. On the drive up to the weekend get-a-way or on the outskirts of town, there are signs dotting the landscape advertising Sweet Corn, Peaches & Cream Corn, Local Corn and so on and so forth.
The hunt is on for great corn…where do you find the best tasting corn? Well, with many years of being corn on the cob connoisseurs we think we have found the place and are happy to recommend it to you.
The Harris Farm is on the George Johnston Road in Minesing and has quite a longstanding reputation for their corn and they have a following of customers that come back year after year. The Farm is now in it’s 3rd generation and it is really a whole family affair. All of the kids are spending their summer holidays in the fields helping out with the harvest. Going back to school probably seems like a vacation to them. The neat thing is…the kids don’t seem to think anything of it. They were raised on a farm and that’s just the farm way of life. Their parents did it, their grandparents did it and now, they do it too and with pride on their faces. With over 300 acres of farmland to oversee, between two families, you don’t really appreciate how huge of a task this is until you are standing in the middle of the cornfield during harvest time. The corn crops are rotated and planting is staggered so that corn is fresh picked daily during harvest time. I had no idea that there are more than 15 different varieties of Peaches and Cream corn.
Not only can you get great corn in many varieties of peaches and cream, yellow corn and our favourite…white corn, but you can also find wax and green beans, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, red and white potatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, fresh pies and on weekends…just about anything that grows in the ground. You can also pick up great fudge, possibly the best butter tarts around and home made jams.
So have a little fun with your kids…take them to The Harris Farm, pick up some of the best corn and ask if your kids can feed a cow a cob of corn and watch how freaked out they get when a cow chomps down of a cob of corn in one bite. It’s quite different than feeding a dog a biscuit for a deed well done!
The Harris Farm is located on the George Johnston Road in Minesing about 8kms south of Highway 26.
Now that you’ve found the perfect cob of corn…Bob Bickmore from Catch 22 Fresh Market and Grill, Collingwood’s favourite Seafood Restaurant has given us another great reason to cook with corn. Bob generously has provided us with an outstanding recipe for Corn Cakes with Lobster, he has also shared some of his savvy when it comes to preparing and procuring.
Buttermilk Corncakes with Butter Poached Lobster and Baby Fennel.
This is a great way to utilize local corn, it makes a great appetizer
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tblp sugar
1 cup buttermilk (can substitute sour cream)
1 cup fresh locally grown corn ( tip on taking off the cob to follow)
1/2 cup fresh baby fennel sliced thin
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
2 tblp melted butter
To make corn cake batter:
In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, fresh corn and sliced fennel.
mix wet ingredients and the dry ingredients together and let rest for 15 minutes covered.
Cooking the Corn Cakes:
Place a non stick skillet over medium heat and ladle 2 oz of batter and fry until the sides start to bubble. Turn over corn cakes and finish other side. You will need 12 cakes to serve 4 appetizers.
Keep warm on a plate under a clean kitchen towel until ready to plate.
Butter Poached Lobster:
4 - 4 ounce lobster tails
1 lb butter
2 oz water
Salt and white pepper to taste
Place 2 oz water in a small pot and bring to a simmer, slowly whisk in cold butter in small stages without allowing the butter to boil. ( it will separate if you boil it) You will have a nice sauce consistency called a beurre monte. Take the lobster out of its shell by cutting the shell down the centre and carefully removing the lobster meat. You may reserve the shell to use as a garnish. Season the lobster with salt and pepper and poach in the beurre monte until fully cooked. (apprx. 10-12 minutes) remember that the butter should just be barely simmering. This is a good time to roast your lobster shell if using for a plate garnish. Just place in a moderate oven until the shell turns red.
Place 3 hot corn cakes on top of each other in the centre of your plate.
Place the roasted lobster shell beside the corn cakes and then place the butter poached tail over the top of the corn cakes and lobster shell.
Drizzle some of the poaching butter over the top of the corn cakes and lobster and garnish with some of the baby fennel tops.
Tip for removing corn from the cob:
First you must shuck the husk from the corn by pulling it away with your hands Then, on top of a clean kitchen towel stand the corn up(end to end) and carefully place your knife between the cob and the corn kernels. Slowly move your knife down following the cob to the bottom. The towel will catch the kernels as they fall and save you a huge mess. You may cook the corn first on the cob in salted boiling water for 7 minutes and then remove the kernels. It is my belief that you get all the goodness out of the corn if you cook it first as most of the corn flavour is closest to the cob.
Corn is available everywhere at this time of year. I like to support the local farmers.
Baby Fennel: I have been purchasing mine from the Collingwood Farmers Market held Saturday mornings behind the Loblaws parking lot from Niagara Escarpment Organics. Talk to Ryan Hayhurst, he has a very interesting organic farm Lobster Tails are available from Ontario Fisheries at 22 Ronell Cres, unit 2 They sell retail fresh fish and seafood to the public, Thursday to Saturday All other ingredients are available from your local supermarket.
Catch 22 Fresh Market Grill
Catch 22 is a family run restaurant where the kitchen offers an expression of exquisite cooking style where boundaries are limitless. Our Fresh Market daily features showcase a wide range of seasonal fresh menu items that highlight the abundance of locally raised and grown products from the Georgian triangle and afar. Beautiful Georgian Bay Produce, freshly caught Georgian Bay fish, and treasures such as truffles and foie gras are no strangers to our cuisine. Catch 22 is truly a culinary experience.
Submitted by: Julie Card