Roasted Summer Corn with Miso Butter Content
When the first summer rolled around at Noodle Bar, and asparagus were done and corn came into season, we decided we’d make a succotash with our miso butter. Then we got lazy and cut out the lima beans and such, so we had just corn, bacon, onions, and the miso butter. It turned out to be one of our most popular dishes ever. It will never go back on the menu, though, because the summer we ran that dish, it was like we were a corn restaurant that just happened to sling some noodles on the side.
This is excellent as a summer side dish, starter, or small plate, but you can turn it into a main course by topping each portion with a few shrimp or a poached or fried egg.
Make the miso butter: Combine the miso with the butter in a small bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed; the butter should be one color, not a streaky mess. Reserve until needed.
Heat a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for a minute or so, until very warm. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it shrinks to about half its original size and browns but does not overly crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Drain the bacon fat from the pan (reserve it for another use if you like) and return the pan to the stove.
Turn the heat to high and add the oil to the pan. When the oil smokes, add the corn to the pan. Sauté, agitating the pan or stirring the corn with a spoon, until it turns bright yellow and just a few of the kernels start to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. (If the corn makes a popping noise like popcorn when it hits the pan, ease the heat back down to medium-high.)
Add the bacon and roasted onions to the pan and stir to combine. Add the broth, miso butter, a tiny pinch of salt, and 7 or 8 turns of black pepper. Glaze the corn with the butter and broth by tossing it in the pan (potentially messy) or stirring (safer) until the butter has melted, the corn is glossy with the sauce, and there’s no broth pooled in the bottom of the pan, just a minute or two.
Transfer the corn to serving bowls, scatter with the sliced scallions, and serve hot or warm.
Cast Iron Skillet
You need a good cast iron skillet to get the char on the corn for this dish. This one by Lodge is a solid, an inexpensive, one to pick up if you don’t have one around your kitchen yet.