It's corn season and we are all grilling and cooking corn to go with our BBQ and potato salad. Probably the last thing you would think to do with corn is to ferment it. However this little known Southern invention is worth it's weight in golden corn. Here is how to do it:
12 ears of corn
1 Quart of Spring water
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Celtic sea salt
1- Shuck 12 ears of corn using a comfortable knife.
2- Pack the kernels into Ball jars. We used 24 oz. Ball jars but you can use 16 oz. pint jars. There should be enough corn to fill 4 pints. We also added some poblano peppers to spice it up. You can use anything you like; coriander seed, black pepper corn, etc.
3- We will be making a basic 2% brine using Celtic sea salt and water. Put 2 1/2 Tablespoons of sea salt into a quart container and fill with luke warm water, stir to dissolve the salt completely. Do not use city tap water as it has chemicals that inhibit fermentation. use spring water or well water. This brine recipe is good for fermenting most vegetables.
4- Place a weight on top of the corn and fill the jar with brine. We used these hand made clay weights from Tree Bone Pottery but you can use anything that fits; clean rocks, a plastic bag filled with water, a smaller jar that fits inside the pint jar, whatever you have.
5- Put the jars in a cool dark location and wait 4-5 days. We put ours on the counter in the darker side of the kitchen. About the only bad thing that can happen in this short time period is Kham yeast growth, a white film. It won't hurt you but is has a slightly off putting flavor. If you see it start to develop just spoon it out.
6- After a few days you can taste the corn and when it gets to your liking just pull out your weight, cap it, and place in the fridge. The cooler fridge temperatures will slow down the fermentation and it should last a few months if you don't eat it all first. The best temperature to ferment is 65-75 degrees f.
Okay so what to do with these husks? Read on!
These husks make a great vegetable broth. Just fill a pot with water and simmer. You can add whatever else you would like but keep it simple. The broth will make a beautiful golden color when ready. Strain out any vegetables salt to taste and freeze for another day (winter is coming).