This time of year, I’m the Bubba Gump of corn. Creamed corn, corn chowder, buttered corn, confetti corn, shrimp boil with corn, and the plain but fabulous corn on the cob.
There are lots of delicious corn recipes to enjoy with those fabulous market fresh ears of summer – like a kicked up grilled corn on the cob or a grilled corn and tomato salad, to name two favorites. My focus in this blog post, however, is the awesome corn prepped and headed for the freezer. Those golden packets of goodness bring summer back to a winter meal.
My favorite corn vendor at our local farmers market sets up at the corner of Main Street & Broadway. When the corn starts coming in, she does a very brisk business. I like to shop early and bring home one of her giant yellow mesh bags stuffed with five dozen just picked ears. It takes me a few days to get the job done, but it’s a labor of love – and so worth it!
Here are some of the recipes I’ve used to process freezer corn. I’ll begin with two recipes in which the corn is cut off the cob before cooking. The next two require the corn be blanched first, then cut off the cob. The last two are for blanched corn that’s left ON the cob.
Creamed Corn (Baked Corn)
There are many similar recipes online for a creamy-style corn. Most suggest you measure the kernels, but I’ve gotten along fine just counting corn cobs!
18 ears of corn
1 c butter, cut into chunks
1 c half & half
Husk and remove silk from the corn. Cut the kernels off the cob and place in a large roaster pan. Add the half & half and chunks of butter. Stir to mix. Bake covered at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. Stir every 30 minutes. Cool to let to corn absorb the liquid.
Measure into quart ziplock bags. Press as much air as possible out of the bags, and flatten them for freezing. Once they’re frozen solid, I “file” them vertically in small crates. To serve, heat on the stovetop with some additional heavy cream.
This is a recipe from my 1997 edition The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook. It only uses four ears of corn, so there’s not a lot of labor involved there. Even though it’s cream based, I’ve had good luck freezing it. But I usually eat a bowl or two first!
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 3 medium potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled & cut into 1/2" chunks
- 2 c chicken broth
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme (I use 3 sprigs fresh thyme)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 c water
- 4 ears corn, husks & silk removed
- 1 c half & half
- 3 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled (optional garnish)
- In 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Add potatoes, chicken broth, thyme, salt, pepper, and water. Heat to boiling; boil 10 minutes, or until potatoes are fork=tender.
- Meanwhile, cut corn kernels from cobs. With back of knife, scrape cobs to release milk. Add corn kernels and their milk to pan and cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in half & half; heat through (do not boil).
- Cool completely. Measure into ziplock bags and carefully seal, eliminated as much air as possible. Freeze flat. (Or store in freezer containers.)
- To serve from frozen: Thaw. Reheat over low heat. Serve garnished with bacon, if desired.
I like to pair the chowder with a blackened snapper or grouper. We typically have filets of both in the freezer, part of our regular purchases of “gulf catch” brought up to Madison by AB Seafood. Ken focuses on the fish with a cup of chowder on the side, but I go for the bowl of chowder with a small fish filet. (The photo below is that bowl I had before freezing the rest!)
I ran across this recipe in a Better Homes & Garden Canning magazine, but you can find it here online. The herb butter makes great use of my garden herbs. It tastes great, and looks great, too! If you’re planning to blanche ears of corn to freeze, you won’t want to miss trying this recipe.
This is the simplest cut corn variation. Remove husks and silk, blanche and plunge in ice water (as directed in the Confetti Corn recipe), cool, cut off the cob, pack into ziplock bags with a generous pat of butter. Freeze. To serve, heat covered in a saucepan over medium heat.
#SallysSuccotash. Lima beans are not for everyone, but I love ’em. When I have a small amount of leftover buttered corn, I’ll cook a handful of frozen baby limas and add them in. Makes a wonderful “personal side.” LOL
Corn on the Cob
Another simple one. Remove husks and silk, blanche, plunge in ice water, cool and drain well. I like to stand the ears on end on a few layers of kitchen towel placed in a dutch oven. It seems to help get the water out of the cob – which I think helps the taste & texture of the finished product.
When you’re satisfied that the corn has drained sufficiently, pack the ears in a gallon ziplock bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal. To serve, add frozen ears to boiling water, lower the heat, and cook them for about 5–8 minutes.
Mini Ears Corn on the Cob for Shrimp Boil
We usually have Gulf shrimp and links of keilbasa in the freezer, which we prepare in a variety of ways. One of our favorite meals is a shrimp boil, and with little frozen ears of corn at the ready, it doesn’t take much to enjoy this summer treat.
Prepare the corn for the freezer as you would for full ears of corn. When cool enough to handle with clean kitchen towels, break the cobs into two or three pieces, then continue draining on towels before bagging for the freezer.
I’ve used this Shrimp and Sausage Boil recipe from Better Homes & Gardens when friends or family are over for dinner. Since we’re not entertaining indoors during this covid-19 pandemic, I’m sharing my “Shrimp Boil for Two” easy recipe.
Shrimp Boil for Two
- 3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 lemon, quartered
- 1/2 pound frozen raw shrimp, thawed
- 2 ears frozen corn that has been broken into 6 total pieces, thawed
- 8 ounces frozen keilbasa sausage,thawed and cut into chunks
- 8-10 small red potatoes
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Cocktail sauce
- In an 8 quart dutch oven, heat 5 quarts of water to boiling. Reduce heat, add Old Bay Seasoning and lemon pieces. Simmer 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes and simmer until almost tender (approx 5 minutes)
- Add corn, sausage and shrimp. Simmer 3-5 minutes
- Remove pan from heat. Lift the food with a colander scoop onto a large platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with cocktail sauce.
If the weather is decent, I’ll still prepare the shrimp boil on the side burner of the grill. If not, I just use a dutch oven on the stovetop. Serving indoors lacks the drama and fun of draining your boil onto a table covered in newspaper – not a good move in the dining room! Lifting the food with a colander scoop onto a large platter gets the job done to serve at the table.
So there you have it – my summer freezer corn routine! We also enjoy plenty of corn on the cob during July and August that never makes it to the freezer. I used to can corn with my Mom as she tried to keep up with my Dad’s garden, but truth be told, frozen is my favorite. If you have a favorite freezer corn recipe, please share!
Love your blogs, Sally. You always share good ideas! Thank you, Linda