Creamed Corn from Ad Hoc at Home {recipe} – Knee High by the 4th of July

corn on the cob and creamed corn from ad hoc at home
“Knee high by the Fourth of July.”

Sadly, that might be the only thing I remember from an ex-boyfriend of 5+ years who was from the Midwest.

I won’t go into too much detail, since this is a food site, not a therapy site (though the two go hand-in-hand sometimes, no?). But it’s enough to say that it was something cute that he would tell me about his youth back in Wisconsin farm country.

Corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July.

These days, though, I see corn out at the farmers markets ready to eat by mid-June. It may not be as sweet as it will be by say August, but it’s there, and this past week, we came across cobs so sweet they were basically…candy corn.

We could have eaten the kernels raw, but we’re also in the midst of trying every recipe in our copy of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, which has a couple of recipes for corn. When it’s outdoor barbecue time, we’ll certainly use his recipe for Corn on the Cob with Lime Salt (which we’re including here), but for now, we can’t seem to get enough of the Creamed Corn with lime and a tiny kick from cayenne.

If you’ve got access to good, fresh corn, you have GOT to try this.

creamed corn from ad hoc at home

Creamed Summer Corn

from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

serves 6


6 ears super sweet white or yellow corn, shucked
1 large lime
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
¾ to 1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1½ tablespoons finely chopped chives


With a sharp chef’s knife, cut vertically down each ear of corn to slice off the kernels. Put the kernels in a large bowl, then hold each cob over the bowl and use a spoon or the back of a knife to scrape any remaining corn and the milk from the cob.

Grate the zest of the lime, preferably with a microplane graters; set aside. Cut the lime in half.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the corn, squeeze about 1 tablespoon lime juice or to taste, over the corn and season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, concentrating the flavor and the corn is beginning to sizzle, 15-17 minutes.

Stir in ¾ cup cream, cayenne, and lime zest. Continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cream is absorbed by the corn. Add up to ¼ cup more cream if desired for a creamier texture. Add salt to taste and stir in chives.

Corn on the Cob with Lime Salt

from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

serves 6


6 ears super sweet white or yellow corn, shucked
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
lime salt (see below)
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives


Cut both ends off each ear of corn and cut the ears in half.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the corn is tender.

Meanwhile, transfer about 2 tablespoons of the cooking, water to a large wide heatproof bowl. Add the butter and swirl the bowl over the heat to emulsify. Add lime salt to taste, swirling the bowl to maintain the emulsification. Set aside in a warm spot.

Drain the corn well and add to the butter. Sprinkle in the chives. Swirl the bowl to coat the corn evenly. Sprinkle with additional lime salt and serve the remaining salt on the side.

Lime Salt (for Corn on the Cob)

makes ¼ cup


¼ cup Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel
grated zest of 1 lime (use a microplane)


Put the salt and lime zest in a small jar. Put on the lid, and shake tom combine. Extra salt can be stored in the freezer.

by Sarah J. Gim on June 30, 2011 · 9 comments

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara June 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Oh yes. I’ve made this one before. I love the lime.

So. Effing. Good.


Snippets of Thyme June 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Its amazing how simple corn can be photographed so beautifully. Lovely photograph…and this is my “go to” dish for the Fourth if “certain” family members come empty handed and I need another dish!!! Oiy…always happens!


Gretchen @ July 1, 2011 at 6:33 am

Beautiful photos of corn! I just learned about “milking” an ear of corn after the kernels have been removed (like you mentioned in the recipe) for a corn & crab chowder recipe I did. It is amazing how much sweet juice is left in those cobs!


Heavenly Housewife July 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

Hey, this sounds great. I am putting this one into my bookmarks :D
*kisses* HH


Val (Mental Chew) July 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Boom! I am posting this all over the place! I can’t wait to try it. Corn is one thing I cannot grow, but fortunately, I have friends who do. Corn and lime sounds like perfection.


karin July 6, 2011 at 4:55 am

I will definitely try it as soon as I´ll find fresh estonian corn on the market… :)


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