In a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat, bring about 4 quarts water to a boil; add shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, stir bacon until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Add enough butter to pan to equal about 3 tablespoons fat; when melted, add shallots and stir until limp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add corn, wine, and cream; boil, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Drain shells and return to pan. Stir in corn mixture, bacon, and tarragon. Pour into a wide serving bowl.
Cutting kernels: An average ear of corn weighs from 10 to 14 ounces and yields about 1 cup of kernels. To remove them, with a large, sharp knife, cut off and discard the stem end of each ear down to the beginning of the kernels. Pull off and discard the husks and silks; rinse ears. Holding each ear upright, shear off the kernels close to the cob.
This was a great side for some spicy grilled chicken we served. I substituted basil & a dash of cumin for the tarragon just because of our family's preference, but I'm sure it would be great with just about any fresh or dried herb. This was something our whole family liked including a picky 6-yr-old. Super easy prep - this goes on the keeper list.
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