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Fresh corn is irresistible when it's slathered with melted butter, sprinkled with salt and eaten right off the cob. But there's so much more cooks can do with this summer favorite, which is now plentiful at farmers markets and roadside stands.

We talked to local chefs, scoured our recipe files, and searched the internet to create this list of 20 ways to serve up fresh corn.

1. Serve succotash • A mix of corn kernels, lima beans and red or green peppers, this southern favorite makes a quick side dish or a healthy addition to salad or pasta.

2. Saute • Cut corn kernels off the cob and saute with a little butter and sea salt, says Ethan Lappe, the chef/owner of Caffe Niche in Salt Lake City.

3. Toss in a salad • For an easy potluck dish, add fresh corn, diced ham, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped red onions to greens. Season with salt and pepper and toss with a vinaigrette.

4. Fry • Fritters make a great side dish or snack. Stir fresh corn kernels into a batter and drop into hot oil until puffed and golden brown.

5. Make a chowder • This soup comes together in minutes. Place 1½ cups fresh corn kernels and one (15 ounce) can of chicken broth in a blender or food processor. Blend until almost smooth. Pour into a pot and add another 1½ cups fresh corn kernels and simmer for a few minutes until corn is crisp and tender. Stir in 1 cup milk or half-and-half, chopped jalapeno peppers and some cooked chicken. Heat through and serve. Garnish with cilantro leaves and crumbled feta.

6. Add to a dip • Combine equal amounts of low-fat sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir in fresh corn kernels, diced green chiles, green onions, a minced jalapeno pepper and grated cheddar cheese. Serve with chips.

7. Steam • Remove husks and silks from corn. Trim stem ends. Stand ears in a tall pot with 1 inch of water. Cover with a tight- fitting lid and steam for 5 minutes.

8. Make pancakes • To shake up breakfast, serve corn cakes hot from the griddle and topped with maple syrup or honey. Or add herbs, shrimp or other savory items for a quick dinner.

9. Pizza topping • Earlier this month, the roasted corn pizza with red onion, serrano chile and goat cheese served at Provo's Pizzeria was named the best slice in the state in Food Network Magazine's "50 states, 50 Pizzas" feature. Other topping ideas: Spread dough with barbecue sauce and top with fresh corn kernels, canned black beans (rinsed) and diced tomatoes; Or skip the sauce and top pizza dough with fresh corn, bacon and arugula before baking.

10. Grill • Place corn cobs, still in husks, on a grill with hot coals. Cook until husks are charred on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove corn from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Wearing gloves or using a hand towel, remove the silks and charred husk from the ears of corn. Serve with plain or with seasoned butter.

11. Puree into a sauce • At Salt Lake City's Meditrina Small Plates and Wine Bar, chef/owner Jennifer Gilroy serves a prosciutto-wrapped monkfish with a Utah corn puree. She blends 2 cups fresh grilled corn kernels with about ¾ cup heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. She runs the mixture through a strainer, warms it, and then places under grilled fish.

12. Stir into grits • This southern favorite goes upscale when you stir in one cup fresh corn kernels and 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with chopped green onions — and more goat cheese, if desired.

13. Make a three-sisters stew • American Indians called corn, beans and squash the "three sisters" because they grow well together and compliment each other in foods. For a vegetarian stew, saute some onion in oil, add 2 cups fresh corn, a can of beans and acorn squash that has been cut, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks. Pour one (15 ounce) can of vegetable broth and simmer covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve over cooked rice.

14. Microwave • To busy to wait for the water to boil? Place ears of corn, still in husks, in a single layer in the microwave. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, turning the ears halfway through cooking time. Allow corn to rest several minutes before removing the husks and silks.

15. Make ice cream • In Mexico, sweet corn is a favorite ice cream flavor. Whole kernels are usually stirred into the cream and milk mixture before freezing. The kernels also can be grated to extract the sweet, milky liquid.

16. Add to risotto • One of this summer's most popular lunch and dinner entrees at Salt Lake City's Wild Grape Bistro is the mushroom risotto with fresh corn, piquillo peppers and goat cheese stirred in, said owner Troy Greenhawt.

17. Blend into a drink • Atole, a sweet corn and milk drink, is a favorite in Mexico. Puree kernels from five ears of corn with ½ cup milk. Transfer to a medium pot and add 2½ cups more milk, 1 cup sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks and a pinch of salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and serve.

18. Make a relish • In a large pot, cook fresh corn kernels with chopped green peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar, vinegar and spices. Serve with hot dogs, tacos or pork.

19. Bake • Slice the kernels off eight ears of corn. Then, with the dull side of the knife, scrape the cob to remove tiny bits of corn and the creamy corn milk. Combine with 2⁄3 cup heavy cream and 3 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

20. Freeze • Enjoy the summer corn in winter by freezing it. Remove husks and place cobs in boiling water for 4 minutes . Remove from water and chill. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob and pack into containers or freezer bags, leaving about ½-inch head-space on top. Seal and label. Store in the freezer.

Additional sources • The Associated Press, The Pioneer Woman Cooks; EatWell 500 Calorie Dinners cookbook; and The 5-a-day

Creamy corn with poblano chiles

2 tablespoons butter

1 small red onion, diced, about ½ cup

1 large red bell pepper, diced, about ¾ cup

Salt and pepper

Cayenne or finely minced red jalapeno, optional

Kernels from 6 ears corn, about 3 cups

2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch strips

2 scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup creme fraiche

1 or 2 limes, cut in half

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add a pinch of cayenne or a little minced jalapeno, if using.

Add the corn kernels and poblano strips, season again and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is cooked and tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the scallions, then the creme fraiche and allow it to heat through. Taste for seasoning, and give the corn a good squeeze of lime.

Servings • 4 to 6 servings.

Source: New York Times News Service —

Summer succotash

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon hot Spanish smoked paprika

1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped, optional

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups fresh lima beans (may substitute frozen lima beans, defrosted)

½ cup water

1 large zucchini, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ½-inch slices

2 large tomatoes, cored, then chopped, with their juices

Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn

Kosher or sea salt

8 large basil leaves, stacked, rolled and cut crosswise into thin slices (chiffonade)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika; stir and let sizzle for a few seconds, then add the anchovy, if using, plus the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add lima beans and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, until the water is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover and cook until the lima beans are mostly tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Uncover; add zucchini and tomatoes, then increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini starts to become tender, 3 or 4 minutes, then add the corn kernels and cook just until they brighten in color, a minute or two. Remove from the heat. Season with salt to taste.

If you are eating a portion right away (or at room temperature), garnish with 2 chopped basil leaves; otherwise, wait and garnish with basil until just before serving. Succotash can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Toss it hot with pasta or eat it cold on salad greens. It also can frozen for up to 6 months.

Options: Put succotash in a gratin dish, crack an egg on top and roast in a 400-degree oven until the white is set but the yolk remains runny, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Servings • 4

Source: Joe Yonan, The Washington Post —

Sweet corn ice cream

2 ears corn

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1½ cups milk

½ cup sugar

4 egg yolks

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a box grater in a large bowl. Using the large holes, grate corn kernels (and their "milk") off the cobs. Discard cobs.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, and corn. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks until pale and thick. When cream mixture reaches a simmer, slowly ladle ½ cup of it into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat with another ½-cup. Reduce heat to low, whisk warmed egg mixture into saucepan, and cook, whisking, until mixture thickens a bit, about 5 minutes.

Pour mixture into a medium bowl, stir in vanilla, cover with plastic wrap (letting the wrap sit directly on the mixture's surface), and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight plastic container and freeze up to overnight.

Servings • 8

Source: Sunset Magazine, June 2008 —

Wild Grape's corn and mushroom risotto

½ cup crimini mushrooms

½ cup fresh corn cut off the cob

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ tablespoon chopped shallots

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup vegetable stock

1 cup cooked arborio rice

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a saute pan, brown mushrooms and corn with oil. Add shallots and cook till translucent. Add wine and vegetable stock then rice. Cook until liquid is almost evaporated then add the cream. When rice is creamy add butter, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley. Serve.

Servings • 4

Source: Wild Grape Bistro