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Acting (sweet) corny

File Photo by Sue Doeden Cheesy Sweet Corn Boats, recipe by Sue Doeden, author of the All About Food column

Get the dental floss ready because area sweet corn is being harvested and some have begun selling at Dickinson's Farmer's Market.

"This year I have really good corn ... it's called bodacious and it's a very good sweet corn," said Janie Tormaschy, a grower near Gladstone.

She is also the president of the area Farmer's Market Association.

Despite an increased number of noticeable insects this year, Tormaschy said it was a good sweet corn season.

And the weather seemed to cooperate.

"You definitely need plenty of rain and then it was kind of cool for a while there but then it got hot so basically it was a good year for corn," Tormaschy said.

Jeanette Zent, who lives near Lefor, has been growing sweet corn for about four years and also said the increased rain has most certainly helped this year's sweet corn crops.

Tormaschy said it takes a lot of nitrogen to get a good crop and she and her husband apply a lot of it when planting the corn.

"A lot of your water for irrigating gardens is pretty high in salt; if it isn't, then it gets pretty expensive to use," said Ron Smith, North Dakota State University Extension Service horticulturist, according to a previous Press article. "You can use all the water you can get from Mother Nature. You're getting water with a lot of dissolved nitrogen in it and some other minerals that might be floating around in it that may be beneficial."

With a 6-acre field to tend to, Tormaschy said she and her husband Paul have the field set by the end of August.

In addition to selling at the Farmer's Market, the Tormaschy's will begin selling sweet corn straight from their field on Wednesday, in a "you-pick-it" style.

"Of course we've got roadways driving down there so when people go out to pick they can drive down the roadways," Tormaschy said.

Anyone wishing to pick sweet corn at the Tormaschy's can contact Janie at 701-225-2747 for directions and times.

Unusual sweetcorn recipes:

Most sweet corn can be cooked in boiling water for about five minutes, or until bright yellow and tender.

r Grilled Sweet Corn, submitted by Luella Abel of Dickinson: Clean the corn silk from the cobs with a vegetable brush under running water. Wrap each cob in a paper towel. Wet the towel-wrapped cob thoroughly and wrap in a square of aluminum foil. Grill for about 25 minutes on medium, turning several times. Unwrap the aluminum foil and paper towel, add salt and butter and enjoy. Grilling the corn in this method is not as hot to handle as when grilled in the husk.

r Mexican-style corn, submitted by Dickinson native Tim Murphy, now of San Diego:

"We go to Mexico a lot and love this way to prepare good corn," Murphy wrote in an e-mail.

Murphy says to use the typical steam, boil or grilling method, followed by squeezing a lime on the corn. Next, add butter and salt, drizzle on some Mexican Crema, sprinkle on parmesan cheese and Tapatio hot sauce.

"Tapatio is definitely the best hot sauce to use though!," Murphy wrote.

Murphy said the "American version" of this recipe is made with parmesan cheese, but an authentic Mexican version uses cotija cheese.

"Also, the authentic Mexican version, they do put a little mayonnaise, but I only eat it that way from the street vendors," Murphy wrote. "At home, I skip the mayo."

Murphy said another popular way to serve it is with the same ingredients, but in a cup along with a little water to make the mixture more aqueous.

r Janie Tormaschy, of Gladstone, recommends this recipe for baked corn:

20 cups of cut off, raw corn

1 cup of cream

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup butter

Mix and bake for an hour at 350 degrees

Stir the mixture midway through baking.

Once the mixture is cooked, place the container into a sink of cold water with ice.

Once cooled, can place into freezer bags or containers and freeze.

r Cheesy Sweet Corn Boats, recipe by Sue Doeden, author of the All About Food column:

Six ears of fresh sweet corn

1 cup chopped bacon

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, packed

1 (8-ounce) package finely shredded Cheddar Jack cheese

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Remove the husks and silk from ears of corn, reserving the husks.

Stand each cob on its wide end in a large bowl and cut the kernels off using an electric or sharp knife. Set the corn kernels aside. Place husks on a parchment-lined baking sheet, forming six boats.

Fry the chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. When the bacon is crispy, transfer from the pan to a double thickness of paper towels to drain.

Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan. Add onion, jalapeno and red peppers to pan and sauté for two minutes. Add corn and mix well. Sauté for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bacon, cilantro, cheese, tomato and mayonnaise.

Spoon the corn mixture into the six prepared boats, filling them generously. Baked the stuffed husks at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Finish under the broiler for the last two to three minutes if you want more golden carmelization. Serves six.

Doeden's All About Food runs every Thursday in The Dickinson Press.