Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Creamed corn is a classic fall dish when fresh, sweet corn is most abundant. Homemade creamed corn can be served as a side dish for roasted meats, such as a Thanksgiving turkey, or it can be used to flavor tamales, biscuits or soups. Making your own creamed corn -- instead of buying the canned version -- leads to a sweeter, more delicate dish. This recipe is adapted from ones by Canadian Living and BBC Good Food.
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- 4 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned
- 4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
- 1 small clove of garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup of white onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup of half-and-half cream
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
Cut off the kernels from the ears of corn. Using a sharp knife, at a 30- to 45-degree angle, slice along the length of the ear. Cut as closely as possible to the cob.
The milky liquid exuded from the nibs is rich in flavor. Try to preserve as much of it as possible by cutting into a large mixing bowl. Mix the milk with the kernels to give your dish a stronger corn flavor.
Save the cobs to make homemade stock -- meat-based or vegetable. Break them in half and store them, wrapped, in the freezer until needed. They add a sweet corn taste to broths.
Heat a large pan over medium heat, melting the butter. Add the bay leaf, clove of garlic and the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is softened.
Add the corn and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the cream and cornstarch in a small bowl, creating a cornstarch slurry.
Fish out the garlic clove and the bay leaf, then pour in the cream slurry. Stir constantly until the mixture is thickened. Add the nutmeg, then the sugar and salt to taste.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for three to four days in the fridge.
The basic creamed corn recipe benefits for additional dried or fresh herbs. Add the spices when the onion is cooking. Ideas include:
- 1 teaspoon of Montreal steak spice
- 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon each of oregano and marjoram
Minced vegetables can also be added to creamed corn to give it more color and to alter the flavor. To keep the dish soft in texture, cook the vegetables down until they are softened, adding them to the pan with the onion and garlic. Ideas include:
- 1/4 cup sweet red pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup mix of carrot and celery, finely diced