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Food Glossary

Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn

Corn-on-the-cob as it is also known, simply boiled and served with butter, is always a pleasure or cut into chunks and barbecued or grilled. 'Super sweet' varieties offer the best flavour. Choose cobs that are full and plump with pale cream kernels - when they're fresh and tender, the raw kernels exude a milky liquid when cut.

To store: Eat the cobs fresh or wrap in polythene and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

To prepare: Trim the ends with a sharp knife and remove the leaves and silks (fine threads). Wash thoroughly. Cook in boiling water, without salt as this toughens the corn, for about 15 minutes. To oven cook, brush with butter, and bake in foil for 30 minutes.

Baby corn

Pale yellow cobs of corn that are harvested while they are still young and tender baby corn cobs are usually no longer than 10cm. The sweet-tasting mini cobs are eaten whole and can be served raw or cooked and are particularly popular in Chinese cookery. Baby corn is sold prepacked in Waitrose.

Uses: Baby corn can be steamed, boiled or stir-fried with a selection of other ingredients such as meat, noodles and other vegetables. Raw baby corn can be included in salads or served with a choice of other raw vegetables such as peppers, cucumber and carrot as crudité.

To store: Store baby corn in the fridge for 2-3 days.

To prepare: Wash very thoroughly in cold running water before serving raw or cooking.

To cook: Cook baby corn until it is tender but still retains some bite. To boil, place in a pan of boiling water, cover and simmer for 4-5 minute. To steam, cook in a steamer for 5-6 minutes. To stir-fry, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add the corn, cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring constantly. To serve as a simple accompaniment, top the cooked corn with butter flavoured with herbs, garlic, chilli or lime.

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