Boiling sweet corn on the cob in milk adds rich flavor to this simple, easy side. Because boiling milk rises so rapidly -- and to keep the dish more cost effective -- dilute the milk with equal parts water to fill your pot. Opt for whole milk, as reduced fat or skim milk is likely to curdle; this happens because of the low fat content. These lower fat products also won't impart the same rich flavor you get from a full-fat product. You can even use cream instead of milk, if you like.
Husk the ears of corn. Pull of the silk strands stuck to the corn. This is easiest to do under cold running water or by rubbing the corn down with a wet paper towel.
Fill a large saucepan with equal parts water and whole milk. Use enough liquid to fully cover the corn, but make sure the pot isn't more than halfway full, as the milk expands rapidly after it hits a boil; this allows you time to pull it off the heat. If necessary, cook the ears of corn in batches.
Put the saucepan on a burner over medium-high heat. Add a few pinches of sugar, but don't salt the water; cooking corn in salted water toughens the kernels.
Add the corn to the milk and water as soon as it hits a boil. Cover the pot and wait for the liquid to hit a boil again. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the volume of liquid and the number of sweet corn cobs.
Remove the saucepan from the heat source as soon as the liquid hits a boil for the second time to prevent spillover. If your corn is fresh, it's already cooked to a desirable tender-crisp texture. If the corn's a few days old, it benefits from cooking for another 2 or 3 minutes; simply leave it off the burner in the heated liquid for this time.
Take the corn out of the pot with tongs. Set the ears on a plate to drain. Salt them and add butter, freshly cracked black pepper or other seasonings, as you like.
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Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, travel, and lifestyle writer living in Orlando, Florida. He has professional experience to complement his love of cooking and eating, having worked for 10 years both front- and back-of-house in casual and fine dining restaurants. He has written print and web pieces on food and drink topics for Visit Florida, Orlando Style Magazine, CrushBrew Magazine, Agent Magazine, Dollar Stretcher Magazine, The 863 Magazine and other publications.