6 Recipes for PA Corn — On- and Off-the-Cob

If you love corn, then Pennsylvania’s the place for you! It’s not only one of the nation’s top producers, it’s also recognized as the best, with over 80% of PA corn crop rated good and excellent by the USDA. When we think of Pennsylvania corn, our mind probably goes to the delectable corn-on-the-cob we know and love, but there are all kinds of other recipes and uses for this steadfast staple. 

yellow sweet corn

Pennsylvania corn growers produce about 118 million bushels of corn a year, which is used for livestock feed, silage, grain, and good ol’ eating. There are three varieties of corn grown in PA: sweet corn, flint corn and dent corn. The latter, a starchy variety also known as grain corn with dimpled kernels, is the least commonly grown in PA, found more in the Midwest and Southeast. Flint corn is a hard, colorful corn that’s used for cornmeal, grits and polenta. The Lenape people used a blue-black variety called Sesapsing, or Sèhsapsink, the heirloom seeds of which can be acquired through organizations like TrueLove Seeds. And then, there’s sweet corn.

Roughwood Seed Collection

Corn from the Roughwood Seed Collection of The Roughwood Center

Pennsylvanians wait all year for sweet corn, which starts popping up at local farm stands and farmers markets in late June and early July. Over 1,600 farms produce over 65 million pounds of sweet corn annually. Everyone seems to have a preference, whether it’s white, yellow or bicolor, plain or with melted butter and salt, boiled or on the grill, and on the side or a meal of its own. To have even more fun with your sweet corn, we’ve got 6 on- and off-the-cob recipes for you to try!

Fresh Corn Polenta

fresh corn polenta

The PA Eats kitchen team developed this recipe to showcase polenta’s lighter side. While traditional polenta is a dense, rich cornmeal porridge, this equally delicious version uses boiled corn kernels as the base, letting the true corn flavor shine through. You’ll want eight ears of sweet corn plus cherry tomatoes, Parmesan, basil and seasoning to complete this perfect summer side, base, or all-by-itself dish.

Fresh PA Corn Polenta with Shrimp and Tomatoes

Fresh Corn Polenta

This perfect summer dish starts with a light and sunshiney polenta recipe by PA Veggies and takes it to the next level with shrimp and cherry tomatoes. Like the PA Eats-developed corn polenta recipe, this requires eight fresh ears of sweet corn. Boil and puree the polenta, and then sauté shrimp (one pound) and cherry tomatoes in oil and seasoning. Combine them for a meal serving up to six people, and enjoy! 

Grilled Pennsylvania Corn with Chipotle Butter

PA corn butter

Make the everyday BBQ gourmet with this top-notch grilled corn recipe. As you gently grill the corn, combine butter with chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic and cilantro for a compound butter that delivers huge flavor. Once the corn is grilled, brush on the butter and top with Cotija cheese and cilantro and leave your guests speechless. 

Melty Pennsylvania Sweet Corn-And-Cheese Dip

corn cheese dip

Golden-brown bubbly cheese works for us! This melty sweet corn dip comes together all in a cast-iron skillet. You’ll need four ears of corn, jalapeno for heat, and a bunch of other savory, vegetable and creamy-cheesy ingredients to whip up this great corn-and-cheese winner. PA hard pretzels make the perfect vehicle for every mouthwatering bite.  

PA Corn, Cheddar and Chive Waffles with Tomato Maple Syrup

corn waffles

If you’re in a breakfast rut, these waffles will get you right out of it. Make use of local produce and products like sweet corn, cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes and maple syrup for a lovely morning or midday dish. Enjoy the sweetness you expect from regular waffles, but with a new,  savory depth to them.

Seared Scallops with Sweet Corn, Paired with PA Wine

Seared Scallops with Sweet Corn and dry Pennsylvania Riesling

This gorgeous dish, made in partnership with the Pennsylvania Wine Association, combines a bed of creamy sweet corn and roasted poblano peppers with delicately sauteed sea scallops for a briny, buttery plate of magic. We suggest you pair it with a bright, dry Pennsylvania Riesling, the perfect complement. Prep and cook time are well under an hour, so you can sit back and toast your handiwork. 

Let’s enjoy this year’s corn crop more than ever before! Don’t forget that you can freeze your summer corn bounty for year-round culinary use. For more year-round, in-season recipes, head here. Please comment here or on our Facebook and Instagram pages if you have a great PA corn recipe we can try!

  • Feature image: Bigstock
  • Colorful corn : The Roughwood Seed Collection
  • All other recipes and images: Dish Works