My New York Restaurant List
Mark Bittman's Bok Choy with Shiitakes and Oyster Sauce

Julia Moskin's Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint


I have started and stopped this entry about six times. Trying to find some lyrical way to get going. But you know what? Though lyrical can be all fine and good, sometimes, when you are simply itching to get something out just as loud and fast as you can, lyrical can be a real impediment to communication, a real thorn in the side of straight talk.

What on earth am I trying to say, you wonder?

What I'm trying to say is this:

OMG put down what you're doing this very instant NOW and get yourself to the store to buy a packet of frozen corn and a few sprigs of fresh mint and then get yourself home FAST FAST FAST cancel plans if you must I don't care for Pete's sake and get to work on this recipe which will take you all of ten minutes "active time" to make and will be the most wonderful ten-minute, four-ingredient recipe you've made all YEAR for crying out loud, maybe EVER, and though I used to think corn was something to be enjoyed solely in the few fleeting summer months each year when corn is found in green markets and on cobs, I shall now be very happily revising my list of acceptable frozen foods to be two in length (peas being number one) and cannot WAIT WAIT WAIT to make this dish over and over and over again and add it to the hall of fame, the list for lamination, it is that good oh yes it is YES IT IS GO!


Julia Moskin included the recipe in her Thanksgiving side dish story, but frankly, this is the kind of thing I will be making as part of a simply, easy, weeknight meal for eternity, or as long as I am ambulant and master of my own kitchen. Julia says this only works with frozen petite white corn, but my Key Foods had nothing but plain old yellow corn, which was - once thawed, then sautéed in unsalted butter until popping and caramelized and toasty and aromatic - still as delicious as could be. The chopped mint and the good hit of salt are essential, by the way. Obviously.

I rubbed two chicken legs with salt and red pepper flakes and sweet paprika and za'atar and mashed, minced garlic and olive oil, let them sit for a bit in a dish, then roasted them at high heat, meaning 500 smacking degrees Fahrenheit, for about half an hour. Juicy, crispy-skinned, and delicious, they were a nice thing to serve with that corn.

But that corn. That corn! It was the star, the bright and shining thing on my plate that actually made me smile as I ate, because it has been far too long since something as wonderful, as cheap and quick and as special as this unassuming little side dish came along, and in one fell swoop that corn made me fall in love - in love! with frozen corn! - and that, my friends, is all I have been trying to say.

Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint
Serves 2

1 10-ounce package frozen premium corn
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

1. Defrost the corn in a colander, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

2. In a wide skillet, melt the butter over high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring often, until golden and browned (kernels may begin to pop), about 10 minutes. Stir in the mint and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve while hot.