My Papa Leo’s famous recipe for perfectly cooked sweet corn, every single time.
Growing up, no summer was complete without a visit from my dad’s side of the family from Berkeley, California. Papa Leo, Ema Ljuba and at least 6 of their 7 kids would all fly out from the west coast to get a piece of the quintessential Pure Michigan summer.
Their time in town was divided between the big lake at a rental home on Lake Michigan and our cottage on Silver Lake, a small inland lake just 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids. Fun Fact: You’re never more than 15 miles from a body of water any where within the state of Michigan.
Typically harvested between mid-June and mid-August, my Papa Leo always timed his trip during Michigan’s sweet corn season. Even though he was living in California surrounded by fresh produce all year, he always said nothing compared to the sweet and delicious corn grown in the Midwest.
A father of 10 and a grand father of 3, Papa Leo knew how to feed a crowd. That’s me on his lap by the way – I’m on the right and my Aunt Abby is on the left. When it came time for family dinner during his visits, we would all gather in the kitchen to watch Papa Leo prepare his famous sweet corn for the crew.
The recipe is simple but the result is nothing but pure magic. Here are Papa Leo’s secrets to perfect sweet corn every time:
- Purchase the sweet corn as fresh as possible, ideally from a local farm or farmers market.
- For maximum flavor, cook the corn in boiling water for 3 minutes. Not a minute less and not a minute more. Any longer and the flavor gets absorbed into the cooking liquid.
- Slice the kernels off the cob and serve with butter, salt and pepper in a large bowls with a spoon. Perfection doesn’t need pomp and circumstance.
Your fork is waiting.
- 4 ears sweet corn - shucked
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Fill a large stock pot ⅔ of the way with water and bring to a boil.
- Add corn cobs to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Using tongs, carefully remove the corn from the pot.
- Carefully slice off the corn kernels from the cob into a large bowl. Add butter, salt and pepper to the bowl and toss well. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Serve corn in large bowls.
What are your favorite childhood foodie memories? I’d love to hear from you. Have a wonderful 4th of July everyone!
For more fun sides this holiday weekend, check out my Sides board on Pinterest!
Follow The Lemon Bowl | Liz Della Croce’s board Sides on Pinterest.
Don’t miss these other tasty ideas for your 4th of July BBQ!
Feed Me Phoebe: Red Beet Hummus Recipe with Lemony Yogurt
The Heritage Cook: Tangy Caprese Salad with Pickled Cherries (Gluten-Free)
Creative Culinary: July 4th Red, White and Blue Patriotic Poke Cake
Weelicious: Blue Corn Chip Crusted Fish Sticks with Red Pepper Coulis
Bacon and Souffle: Red, White and Blue Bark
Healthy Eats: 5 Frozen Treats for a Sweet Fourth
Taste with the Eyes: Dessert for the 4th of July: Elderflower Berry Pavlova
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Best Ever Elk Burgers For The 4th of July
Red or Green: Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Heirloom Tomato Pie
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Summer Raspberry Sorbet
Homemade Delish: 4th of July Cheesecake
FN Dish: Portable Picks to Make and Take on July 4th