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Tarragon Corn

Tarragon Corn

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Fresh corn kernels, poached slowly with shallots in butter and ouzo, with fresh tarragon stirred in to serve.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Is there anything better than fresh corn?

On the cob or off, either way. When summer has fully arrived and corn is in season, nothing beats it.

A while back I had a lovely meal at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville that featured a side of corn kernels that had been slowly cooked in butter and Pernod and tossed with fresh tarragon.

This is my attempt to recreate the dish and I think we’ve come pretty close!

With all the fresh tarragon growing in my garden I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that would use it well.

Who knew corn and tarragon were such a perfect match? The tarragon just seems to make the corn taste more exquisitely sweet, without being overbearing.

Tarragon Corn Recipe

Regarding the anise liqueur the recipe calls for, I think it's a nice touch, but not necessary. You'll get enough of the flavor with the tarragon if you are avoiding alcohol or don't have an anise liqueur on hand.


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (can sub onions)
  • 3 cups corn (from about 4 ears of corn)*
  • 1 Tbsp of an anise liqueur such as Ouzo, Pernod, Pastis or Sambuca (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt if using unsalted butter, more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp packed, minced fresh tarragon
  • Dash of white pepper (or black pepper if white is unavailable)

* If using fresh corn, to remove corn from the cob first remove the husks and strings. Stand the corn up with the tip down in a large shallow pan like a baking dish. Using a sharp chef's knife, use long downward strokes to remove the corn kernels from the cob. You might find it easier to use a bundt pan to hold the ear of corn and catch the kernels. Or you can use a corn stripper.


1 Cook the shallots in butter: Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.

2 Add the corn, salt, and anise liqueur if using (if not using, add 1 Tbsp water). Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the corn is tender.

3 Remove from heat, stir in the tarragon. Add pepper and more salt to taste.

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Recipe Summary

  • 6 ears of corn, unhusked
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 pound queso fresco or mild feta, finely crumbled

Soak the corn in a large bowl of water for 1 hour.

Light a grill. On a large plate, blend the butter with the lime juice and tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Spread the butter in a 1/3-inch-thick layer in the center of the plate. In a small bowl, mix the chile powder and cinnamon. Grill the corn over moderately high heat, turning often, until the husks are evenly charred all over, about 25 minutes.

Carefully peel back the corn husks but leave them attached to the cobs. Discard the corn silk and use the husks as a handle. Roll the corn in the softened butter, top with a thick layer of crumbled cheese and sprinkle with the chile powder mixture. Serve right away.

Tarragon Creamed Corn

This creamed corn recipe is a simple, yet delicious, side dish. Try it in summer with corn fresh off the cob for an even more pronounced sweet corn flavor. The recipe is adapted from “Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland’s The Country Cat” by Adam Sappington, Ashley Gartland, and Jackie Sappington (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015).


Show your valentine your love through food

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes.

In a skillet set over medium high heat, melt butter. Add diced bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes until just softened. Add corn and sauté 3 minutes more. Add cream and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cream has reduced by about half. Add salt, mascarpone and tarragon and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, taste and season with additional salt if needed.

Per serving: 261 calories, 32g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 15g fat (8g saturated), 160mg sodium, 4g fiber.

Scallops with Creamed Corn and Tarragon

(recipe slightly adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ears corn, kernels scraped from cob
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup vermouth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 16 large sea scallops, trimmed and patted dry
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • micro greens for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped anchovy fillets to the oil and let melt. Add the corn kernels and their liquid and lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and then stir in the cream. Season with pepper and lower the heat to medium. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the tarragon and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.

While the creamed corn is cooking, heat a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil and add the scallops. Cook, turning once, until caramelized to a dark golden color, 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve the creamed corn in shallow bowls. Top with 3-4 scallops and garnish with micro greens.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus leaves for garnish
  • 8 slices crusty bread, toasted

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook shallot, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine and reduce mixture by half. Add tomatoes and corn and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add mussels to pot and cook, covered, until shells have opened, 4 to 5 minutes. (Discard any unopened shells.)

Stir in tarragon. Drizzle toast with oil and serve with mussels. Garnish with tarragon leaves.

1. Have the chicken ready in a bowl.

2. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced.

3. Place the onions and butter in a saucepan with about 75 millilitres of water and a teaspoon of salt, put the lid on and cook on a high heat for about 10 minutes until the onions soften and the water evaporates. Stir often. Adjust the heat towards the end to keep the onions pale.

4. In a blender, puree half the corn and the liquid from the tin with the vermouth and flour until smooth, then add to the pan with the tarragon and boil until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, and a touch more salt to taste.

4. Stir in the raw chicken and spoon into a deep three-litre baking dish.

5. Top with a lattice of rough-puff pastry, brush pastry with beaten egg and bake for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden and the chicken is piping hot and cooked through. Alternatively, you could cook the chicken in the saucepan and serve with hot buttered toast.

Sea Scallops with Creamed Corn and Tarragon

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the anchovy paste (or fillets) to melt into the oil. Add the corn kernels and their liquid and lightly brown them, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shallots and garlic for 2 minutes, then stir in the vermouth (or Pernod). Stir in the cream and season with a little pepper, then lower the heat to medium-low and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the tarragon and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.

While the creamed corn is cooking, heat a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil and add the scallops. Cook, turning once, until caramelized to a dark golden color, 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve the creamed corn in shallow bowls. Top with 4 scallops per serving and garnish with the microgreens.

Zucchini Corn Cakes with Tarragon Remoulade

This recipe was inspired by a combination of my love for crab cakes and my dedication to “Meatless May”!

  • 1 cup zucchini (shredded)*
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp tarragon (chopped)

Peel the zucchini then shred it with the large side of a grater.

*One large or two small zucchinis should produce 1 cup of grated zucchini.

Remove the corn kernels from the ears with a large, sharp knife and add to the bowl of zucchini.

Add the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, seasoning and dry mustard.

Next add the chopped green onions and garlic.

Add the egg and greek yogurt, mix everything together then use your hands to form the mixture into 12 cakes.

Place the cakes into the oven for 18-20 minutes.

While the cakes are in the oven, prepare the tarragon remoulade.

Start by combining the greek yogurt and egg yolk.

Next incorporate the additional ingredients.

Mix well, then place a dollop on each corn cake.

Serve with a delicious Quinoa Caprese Salad or Mushroom Basil Polenta Cakes for a scrumptious vegetarian dinner!

Tarragon Creamed Corn

Recipe adapted from Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Hog & Hominy, Memphis, TN

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time: 20 minutes


3 large ears corn--husked, kernels sliced off and cobs reserved

2 sprigs fresh tarragon plus more to garnish

½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large saucepan set over high heat, bring the corn cobs, cream, water and tarragon to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Use tongs to remove and discard the cobs.

2. In a medium saucepan, add the corn kernels and strain the cob-infused cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over the kernels. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the corn is tender and plump, about 10 minutes.

3. Using a blender, purée one-third of the corn mixture with the Parmigiano-Reggiano until smooth, then return the mixture to the saucepan with the corn. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.


Add the flour, yeast, and salt to a medium bowl and mix to combine. Pour in the water and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until all the flour is moistened.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow it to rise at room temperature (low 70s) for approximately 18 hours or until it has more than doubled in size. If the room is very cool it will take longer, and if it's hot, the process will happen much faster. Check it's progress every so often.

Scrape out the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Use a spatula or bench scraper to divide the dough into 4 equal parts, and then gently shape them into balls by folding each corner of the dough into the middle. Use a delicate touch to form them into rounds, and place them seam side down onto a well floured surface. It's important not to knead or overwork the dough, treat it very delicately. If the balls are sticky, dust them with a bit more flour.

Allow the balls to rest for about 15 minutes, covered with a damp tea towel before stretching out. At this point, the dough can be refrigerated for up to days. Just return to room temperature for about 2-3 hours before proceeding with the recipe.

*This is my favorite pizza dough recipe, though it does require planning in advance. Substitute your favorite dough recipe, or in a pinch, pick some up from your local pizzeria.

Preheat a grill to medium heat OR preheat an oven with a pizza stone to 500 degrees. Generously flour a pizza peel or the back of a large sheet pan, and place one ball of dough in the center. Use your hands to gently press the mound into a larger circle. Pick it up and rotate it around in your hands, delicately stretching it until it has reached the desired size and thickness. I try to make mine as thin as possible, but if it's your first time, I suggest going a bit thicker to prevent tears.

Lay the dough on the floured pizza peel and spread 1/4 of the creme fraiche out in an even layer. Tear pieces of the fresh mozzarella and scatter them around the pie. Next, tear a few pieces of prosciutto and arrange them around, followed by a sprinkling of sweet corn and Parmigianno.

Take the peel outside to the grill (or oven) and use a quick jerking motion to slide it directly onto the grates (or pizza stone if using the oven). Turn the heat down (on the grill only - keep the oven hot) and immediately close the lid. Let it cook, without peaking, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, check it and rotate it if it's not cooking evenly. Close the lid and continue to cook until the crust is crispy and the cheese is fully melted, but try to avoid peeking as that will hinder the top from cooking.

Slide the peel under the pizza and remove it from the grill, then slide it off onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with the tarragon, then let sit for a few minutes before cutting - this will allow it to set up a bit so it doesn't ooze everywhere. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Watch the video: Poached Fish With A Tarragon Butter Sauce. Delicious, amazing and really simple fish recipe (July 2022).


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