Corns on cobs are part of the North American tradition for a barbecue. In Quebec, we have an old and popular party tradition called Epluchette de ble d’inde that starts with the harvest season – which will be in a few weeks.
Having an epluchette is hosting a casual outdoor party where old and young enjoy freshly picked corns. Typically, the corns are the main course but serving appetizers, desserts and meats are common.
We buy the corns in large pouches from a producer, peel (eplucher) the corns and cook for a few minutes in boiling water with a little sugar and some milk. Some people replace the milk by beer but I never tried it. Never add salt to the water because the salt will toughen the corn. We eat the corns from the cobs with lots of butter, some salt and pepper.
With young kids around, removing the corns from the cobs is a must. You can use a knife but that is messy. Happy Mundane presented this morning the Corn Zipper, a neat kitchen gadget available at Williams-Sonoma for $12 USD. It is so classy that I want one. Reading the product description from Williams-Sonoma will convince you:
Make the most of summer’s fresh corn with this precision tool for cleanly, effortlessly stripping kernels from the cob. Simply pull it lengthwise along a cob, allowing its sharp teeth to neatly remove two rows of kernels. Far safer than a knife, it won’t crush the juicy kernels.
Butter is a large element of this meal. We usually put blocks of butter from which people roll their corns. A fancier method is to serve soft butter and spread the butter on the corns with a brush or a knife. I suggest silicone brushes because it is cleaner and faster to wash.
But if you have kids or a very large crowd, Butter Boy can come to the rescue. It does not look fancy at all but apparently Butter Boy works very well. This product has won the 2005 Gourmet Gold Award. Just insert a half stick of butter, pop the top and press the plunger down to apply an even layer of butter to warm corns.
Since you need more than one butter stations for an Epluchette de ble d’inde, I suggest the Butter Boy and Butter Girl Twin Pack at Perpetual Kid for $12.99 USD. If you are picky on color combinations, Wrappables.com carries the entire collection. Butter boy is available in 2 colors: green and blue. Butter girl is sold in magenta and in yellow. It is widely available so make a search on Google to buy them from your preferred retailers.
Finally, I got a hold on three flavored butter recipes from Ricardo on the Web site of HGTV Canada. Taken from his TV show Ricardo and Friends, these flavored butters are delicious with corns on the cobs. They will make your Epluchette more stylish. Ricardo proposed to serve Cheddar and Bacon Butter, Ginger and Lime Butter, Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Butter at your corn-roast event. That sounds good.
Buy online: Corn Zipper at Williams-Sonoma
Buy online: Butter Boy and Butter Girl Twin Pack at Perpetual Kid
Buy online: Butter Boy & Butter Girl at Wrappables
Recipes: Flavoured Butters for Corn on the Cob shown on Ricardo & Friends and published on HGTV.ca