Corn Saffron Sauce

This sauce takes a little bit of work in the straining part. If you wish, you can skip the straining part for a more rustic sauce, but the flavor is still amazing. Be sure to save the cobs for making corn stock.


Kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn
1½ tablespoons minced shallot
1 ounce cognac or brandy
1/8 teaspoon saffron, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram
1/4 cup white wine
Butter as needed
Corn Stock or water as needed (see recipe)
Salt and pepper to taste


Place corn kernels in a blender and purée. If needed, add a little corn stock or water to get the kernels moving. Purée for at least one minute.

Strain corn through a fine mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl, using a spatula or spoon back to push through as much of the puree as you can without getting a lot of the hull. Discard the pulp remaining in the strainer.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons butter. After the butter stops foaming, add the shallots and sauté until clear. Add the cognac and wait for it to warm up. Carefully ignite the cognac and shake the pan. Cook until all the brandy has evaporated.

Crumble the saffron into the pan and stir around. Cook until fragrant and add the wine, stirring to mix in. Add the marjoram. Cook to reduce by 80%.

Add the strained corn purée and stir well to combine with the saffron and shallots. Taste the sauce. If the saffron is not present, toast a little more and crumble it in. Cook to reduce and thicken the puree. Cook until it has a creamy texture like thickened cream. If you find that the sauce has thickened a little too, much, thin with corn stock or water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer or use as is.

Chef’s Tips:

  • If you prefer, or have older saffron, dissolve the saffron in a small amount of hot water after toasting and then add it at the same time as you would in the recipe.
  • For a more casual version of this, just puree the corn for 2 minutes  and make the sauce without straining at any point. Another version is done where the only straining is done at the end.
  • This sauce is excellent on seafood, pasta, and chicken.

YIELD: About 2 cups

Print Friendly, PDF & Email