Kitchen Diva

Corn, Summer’s Sweet Gift

The carbohydrates from corn can give you long-lasting energy.
Angela Shelf Medearis, June 2017

My sister recently gave me half of the bag of fresh, sweet corn she’d purchased at the market. Corn is best eaten as soon as possible after harvesting, as its sugar converts to starch. To show my thanks, I husked all of the corn. I decided I’d use my share in a variety of different ways: roasted on the cob, as creamed corn and shelled in recipes like my zesty chicken with fresh corn, baby spinach and fettucine.

Sweet corn is one of the few vegetables that is a good source of the kind of slowly digested carbohydrate that gives you long-lasting energy. It also is an excellent source of dietary fiber, and it contains vitamin C, along with niacin and folate (two of the B group vitamins). It’s also a good source of potassium, and can help balance the body’s fluids if you eat salty foods.

Zesty Chicken With Fresh Corn

12 ounces fettuccine (3/4 box)

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground sage

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper

4 green onions, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 cup corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears, or frozen)

3/4 cup half-and-half cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups baby spinach (1-1/2 ounces)

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Step 1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Step 2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken on both sides with cumin, paprika, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Step 3. Cook chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate, cover loosely and set aside.

Step 4. Meanwhile, add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and turn heat to high; stir until well-combined and liquid thickens slightly.

Step 5. Turn heat down to low, and add the corn. Simmer until corn is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half-and-half cream.

Step 6. Add pasta and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Fold in spinach. Top each serving with a chicken breast. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.


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