I was actually eating what I was projecting would be my last tomato sandwich of the season when I came across Molly Wizenberg’s “Not a tomato sandwich” post. In what could be interpreted as summer sacrilege, she was advocating a break from the red, juicy goodness long enough to enjoy some spicy, buttery, tangy corn. As chance would have it, I, too, had a few ears of corn in the fridge that where looking for a purpose. All the cosmic signs, it seemed, were aligning.

After reading through Molly’s description–particularly the idea of making one’s kitchen smell like the state fair (in a good way!)–I didn’t need all that much convincing. I am a child of Ohio, after all, and corn ranks high on my list of summer pleasures. Plus, the amount of effort (a one-pan chop and stir) suited my energy level, and the rapidly multiplying hot peppers in the garden doubled down on the idea. Fifteen minutes later, I had the most amazing bowl of jalapeño- and lime-kicked kernels, caramelized in a warm butter-based coating. I pronounced it “vegetable as decadence” and got out the big spoon.

Who even needs popcorn or dessert when this is possible?

Matthew’s Spicy Sauteed Corn
Adapted by Orangette, originally from Spilled Milk

3 T. unsalted butter
Kernels from 3-4 ears fresh corn
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 T. water
1 T. lime juice (I added closer to 2 T., cause I was in the mood)

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it starts to bubble, add all the vegetables and stir to coat with butter (channel Paula Deen if this part starts to makes you nervous). Allow to cook and brown about 10 minutes, stirring a few times (though you want to let it sit in the pan long enough for some parts get a little crisp and brown–it’s tastier that way). Toss in the water and stir well, scrapping any stray corn bits off the bottom of the pan. Once the water has evaporated, take the skillet off the heat, add salt and lime juice, stir and serve! Expect any corn left in the pan to be eaten immediately by other family members, so take a big serving.