According the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado ranks seventh in the nation for sweet corn production, roughly 100 million pounds. Colorado’s sweet corn sweet spot is definitely Olathe where the 21st annual Olathe Sweet Corn festival takes place Aug. 3 and 4. The event includes all the sweet corn attendees can eat. For more information: olathesweetcornfest.com.
Loveland also celebrates our corn-y heritage Aug. 24 and 25 at the Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival with roasted and boiled corn, a corn shucking contest and a corn eating contest. For more information: loveland.org.
Here’s a Colorado Corn and Bacon Salsa recipe contributed by Jason K. Morse, executive chef for the Douglas County School District. Visit coloradoagriculture.com for more state-based recipes.
Colorado Corn and Bacon Salsa
5 ears Colorado sweet corn
5 tablespoons butter, melted
kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 red onion
3 fresno peppers or red jalapenos
12 strips thick cut bacon
1 tablespoon garlic puree
1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
1 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon dark chili powder
fresh lime Juice to taste
5 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, no stems
Peel the husk back on the corn, do not tear off, and remove the silk. Brush each ear of corn with melted butter and season with the salt and pepper. Replace the husk on the corn. On medium heat on outdoor grill, grill the corn with the husk on until tender. Remove the husk and continue grilling until the corn starts to show grill marks, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Cook the peppers on the grill until well roasted, remove, cool and dice. Split the red onion in half, brush with butter and season with salt and pepper. Grill both halves of the red onion until well cooked then remove, cool and dice. Cook the bacon in a skillet until fully cooked then remove, cool and chop. Once the corn is cooled, trim the niblets from the ear and place into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the bacon, lime juice and cilantro. Mix well and season to taste then add the lime juice and cilantro and mix well. Add the bacon and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. This recipe goes great with grilled flour tortillas, white corn tortilla chips or as a side for any grilled meat. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Chef Aran Essig of the University of Northern Colorado shared this corn cake recipe:
Olathe Sweet Corn Cakes
1 cup butter
2/3 cup masa harina
1⁄2 cup water
3 cups Olathe corn kernels cut from cob
1⁄2 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat together the butter and sugar till fluffy. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Slowly add this to the butter mixture while whisking vigorously.
Sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet till fully incorporated. Stir in corn kernels. Heat griddle to medium high heat and season with oil. Add the corn mixture by spoonfuls to the griddle and brown on each side. Makes about 24 cakes.