Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Creamed Corn

In our summer travels, I used jarred baby food to feed my two girls and one that they both seemed to like was Sweet Corn Casserole made by Beech Nut. Searching for recipes for Corn Casserole yielded a dish similar to a thick corn bread or pudding dish. Not really what I was looking for. So I turned to looking for Creamed Corn recipes which is what many people call cream-style corn and I came up with a modified version of those recipes.
I started with chopped onion and a glop of butter(I don't measure butter, I enjoy it!). I then remembered that I have tons of celery growing profusely in the garden that needs to start making guest appearances in food, so I grabbed some stalks and finely chopped some of that too. At this point I considered adding some sweet red pepper but due to time issues, I passed it by. But I think it would add some great color and flavor so try it and let me know.

Now here is where the photography gets tricky so please pardon all the fuzzy and wobbly photos. Only two hands, both sticky with sweet corn, a sharp knife, slippery cobs and a finicky camera. To eliminate extra steps and more dirty containers, I cut the corn off the cob and right into my saucepan which I pulled off the burner temporarily to get all this done on camera. Using the sharp blade of the knife, cut only the top portion of the kernel off. You do not need to cut right into the cob, we'll get the rest on the second round. So for now, your mission is to go around the cob once and remove the top third of the corn kernel. It will be messy, but it goes quick.

Then, flip your knife upside down and use the back of the knife to scrape the rest of the kernel and juice into the pan. More mess but this is the good stuff.

Most recipes I found called for 1 cup heavy cream. I don't keep cream on hand so I used milk, 2% at that. To compensate for the lack of cream, I added two teaspoons of cornstarch to help thicken the corn and milk. If you use cream, you probably can skip that step or reduce to a teaspoon or less. Stir as it thickens and then dig out the power tools.

You could leave it like this, but I know Kate won't be able to chew and swallow this, so I used my immersion blender stick to blend it all together until it was at a consistency I thought both my girls could handle.

I tested it at this point and thought it was still too much to chew for her so I continued to blend.

Every kitchen needs a taster, one that will give their honest and unbiased opinion. Here's mine.

Seems thick enough! (As a slight neat-freak, this was starting to make me feel panicky, this fingering of the mushy food, so I cleaned her hand, offered her a taste and she ate the whole bowl lickety-split. Her written review is a few years in the offing.)

It was also polished off by her older sister(not pictured)with nary a scowl or gag. A success to be sure!

Here is the barebones recipe. Feel free to tweak it. I purposely left out sugar and salt but you do what you want. I am freezing this like I do my other vegetables but will be careful about reheating it due to the milk content.

Creamed Corn
4 ears of cooked corn on the cob, cooled
2-3 tbsp of butter(more if needed, lots if you want)
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of thinly chopped celery (optional)
1/4 cup of finely chopped sweet red pepper (optional)
1 cup milk or cream
2 tsp corn starch, arrowroot or other thickener if needed
dash of pepper
dash of nutmeg

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