Whole kernels cut fresh from the cob add an unexpected texture and freshness to these moist muffins. They're wonderful served warm with butter.
Choose ears of corn with bright green husks that are tightly closed. The ends of the corn silk should be golden brown, not pale -- an indication that the corn was picked too early.
To easily remove corn silk from the kernels, hold the ear in one hand and rub downward with a wet paper towel.
To remove corn kernels for a salad or salsa, stand an uncooked ear in a shallow bowl and use a sharp, thin-bladed knife. For chowder, add another step: reverse the knife and run the dull side down the ear to press out the rest of the corn and its milk.
Heat the oven to 375°. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the corn and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook over medium-high heat until barely tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then spread the corn onto a plate to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Add the buttermilk, egg, and remaining oil to the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Then stir in the corn mixture.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake the muffins for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 dozen.