There’s nothing like sweet and crunchy local corn in the summer. Not interested in shuckin’ some kernels for yourself? Leave it to the experts.
Husk Restaurant’s Sous Chef Greg McPhee says they have a chilled corn soup that incorporates South Carolina sweet white corn, corn stock, onions, and cream — let them set until they’re thick and creamy. “It’s as simple as it can be,” says McPhee. The soup is garnished with picked blueberries and chanterelles, mushrooms with a nutty apricot flavor. Lastly, they swirl in a housemade mascarpone cheese. McPhee says the dish’s contrast in color highlights the contrast in taste with the sweet cheese and pickled blueberries and mushrooms.
Chef Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad is using corn, okra, and roasted yellow squash as the base for their jumbo lump crab cake. “We like to keep everything simple,” says Lee, “because it’s all so fresh and sweet.” They cook the vegetables in chicken stock, fresh thyme, cherry tomatoes, and in the words of the creator, “Hit it with a nugget of butter and we got a corn ragù.” They pop on some crab cakes, fresh out of the oven, and garnish the dish with a green tomato relish.
At the Grocery, head chef and owner Kevin Johnson highlights fresh halibut with bacon gnocchi, creamed corn, and tomato relish. They mix a corn puree, onion, and roasted corn on the cob from the wood-fired oven. A housemade gnocchi with bacon and cornmeal is added to the creamed corn, which serves as the base for the grilled fish. It’s topped with a tomato relish made with shallots, fresh chili, and Banyuls vinegar.
Amen Street has a blackened swordfish with stone-ground grits, fried green tomatoes, and a tasso corn maque choux. The maque choux (pronounced mack-chu) is a Louisiana classic made with roughly chopped corn, tomatoes, celery, tasso ham, and red bell peppers. “Sweat ’em together with vegetable stock,” explains chef Steven Ollard, and voila.
Chef de Cuisine Chris Delaney of the Macintosh is whipping up pork ravioli this weekend. He starts with a creamed corn purée made with butter, heavy cream, and corn stock. The ravioli is made from a pork confit scrap that’s made by submerging pork shoulders into fat and cooking for eight hours; the juicy meat that falls off is what’s inside your ravioli along with pork stock and crème fraiche. On top are charred corn, onions, and tomatillos. The entrée is finished with basil blossoms and basil oil.