Maize (/meɪz/ MAYZ; Zea mays subsp. mays, from Spanish: maíz after Taino: mahis), also known as corn in North American- and Australian- English, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant gives rise to inflorescences (or "tassels") which produce pollen and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that when fertilized yield kernels or seeds, which are botanical fruits. The term maize is preferred in formal, scientific, and international usage as the common name because this refers specifically to this one grain whereas corn refers to any principal cereal crop cultivated in a country. For example, in North America and Australia corn is often used for maize, but in England and Wales it can refer to wheat or barley, and in Scotland and Ireland to oats.
Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. In addition to being consumed directly by humans (often in the form of masa), maize is also used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup. The six major types of maize are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed, various corn-based human food uses (including grinding into cornmeal or masa, pressing into corn oil, fermentation and distillation into alcoholic beverages like bourbon whiskey), and as feedstocks for the chemical industry. Maize is also used in making ethanol and other biofuels.
Corn is a healthy grain and source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It may promote eye and digestive health. Refined corn products, however, such as tortilla chips, offer fewer health benefits.
Preparing Your Corn
No matter how you are cooking your corn, the first step is to shuck it from the husk. If you have been tasked with shucking cob after cob of corn, you know it can be exhausting. However, microwaving is the best way to remove the husk and silk before cooking corn on the cob.
Step One: Cut off the stalk end of your corn if it has not been removed already. Use a very sharp knife, or a serrated knife.
Step Two: Microwave your corn in the husk for 60 seconds. This creates a layer of steam between the corn and the husk.
Step Three: Remove your cobs from the microwave and shake them while you squeeze the husk. In seconds you will have a silk-free cob of corn ready to go!
How To Boil Corn
Boiling corn is a great option when you need to prepare a lot of corn in a short period of time.
Remove your cobs from the husks and set them aside. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, add ½ tablespoon of salt and the cobs of corn. Allow the corn to cook for 5 minutes.
Drain the water and pat the cobs of corn dry.
Steaming Corn On The Cob
Like microwaved corn on the cob, steaming gives you hot, flavorful corn without much time or effort. As a result, this is another great option for busy weeknights or larger gatherings.
Add 2 inches of water to a large stock pot and bring the water to a boil.
Remove the husks from your corn before adding the cobs to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Allow the corn to cook for 5 minutes, or until the corn turns bright yellow.
Grilling Corn On The Cob
The best way to grill corn is to remove it from the husk and place it right on the grate. This will give your corn a beautiful char and some delicious smoky flavor.
Remove your corn from the husk and coat the entire cob with butter.
Place the cobs on your heated grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning intermittently to ensure each side is charred.
Let's make this short and SWEET. How about a few recipes for alternatives to the mundane.
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