Made with freshly shredded sweet corn. Thyme, sage, butter, onion and Parmesan give this herbed creamed corn its wonderful flavors and aroma. We had it with fried chicken for lunch.
Creamed corn (or cream-style corn, as it is more popularly known today), according to what I’ve read, has a long history in the United States. Traditionally, no milk nor cream was added. The creaminess was derived from the natural milky reside from the cobs. The kernels were cooked until soft and starch was released during cooking which thickened the dish. The cooking time was long and the corn required stirring and attention to make sure that nothing scorched at the bottom of the pan.
It’s 2017 and while traditional cooking methods are always interesting from a historical perspective, there are faster and more convenient ways to cook creamed corn without resorting to opening a can and dumping its contents into a bowl. There are also additions which make the dish even tastier and highly aromatic. So, no, this isn’t canned corn to which herbs, cream and cheese were simply added. It’s way better than what you can do with a can of corn.
Making my creamed corn started with two ears of sweet yellow corn. I held the first one upright on a chopping board, passed a very sharp knife along its length so that only about two-thirds of each kernel was sliced off. I turned the cob around slowly, slicing after each turn, then did it all over again to cut off the remaining portion of the kernels.
Then, using a spoon, I scraped off whatever was left in the grooves where the kernels were. This last step was mostly to get as much of the milky liquid that would form the creamy base for the dish.
The actual cooking began with butter and roughly chopped onion. The onion bits were cooked in melted butter over medium heat until lightly caramelized. The shredded corn was added, the herbs, salt and pepper were sprinkled over them and water was poured in—just enough to cover the corn. Everything was simmered until the corn kernels were tender, the water had been fully absorbed and the mixture had thickened from the corn’s own starch.
Cream was poured in and, after reaching simmering point, chopped parsley and Parmesan were stirred in.
Parmesan? Really? Yes. Really. It’s far from traditional but when have I ever been traditional with my cooking? Parmesan adds another dimension of creaminess and flavor to creamed corn that is hard to resist.
Peel the corn and discard all the corn silk (the hairy strands) attached to the cob.
Take one ear of corn and hold it vertically on the chopping board. Slice off the kernels shallowly, turning the cob as you continue slicing. Keep turning and slicing until all the kernels have been removed. Repeat with the second ear of corn.
With a spoon, scrape off all the milky residue from the corn ears and mix with the kernels.
Peel and roughly chop the onion.
Heat the butter in a pan. Saute the chopped onion until lightly caramelized.
Add the corn kernels to the onion. Sprinkle in the thyme, sage and a little salt and pepper. Stir.
Pour in enough water to cover the corn kernels. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer the corn until softened, all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has thickened from the starch expelled by the corn kernels.
Pour in the cream and stir. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Remember that you will be adding Parmesan so don't overdo the salt.
When the mixture starts to simmer, turn off the heat. Stir in half of the parsley and all of the Parmesan. Taste once again and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
Ladle the herbed creamed corn with Parmesan into a shallow bowl or bowls. Sprinkle in the rest of the parsley before serving.
Are you a fan of corn? Try these:
3-cheese Mini Corn Muffins – Based on the corn muffins a la Kenny Rogers in the archive, these mini muffins are made tastier with the addition of three different kinds of cheese and chopped parsley.
I used jalapeño cheddar, feta and mozzarella. Hot cheddar, salty feta and gooey mozzarella. You can use some other cheese combination if you want to create a different contrast of flavors.
Sausage Corn Muffins – Although I have read and heard about “Super Bowl” recipes before, I never knew exactly what they were. What’s really amazing for me, personally, is the amount of variations on those Super Bowl basics.
Take corn dogs, for instance. Someone turned corns dogs into muffins! How brilliant is that? I so loved the idea but since I am not enamored of the most available hot dog brands, I decided I’d make mine with a spicy sausage. Like Hungarian sausage.
Corn muffins a la Kenny Rogers – Straight out of the oven, they’re just gorgeous — crusty outside, soft inside. Too much work? Not really. Fifteen minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to bake can’t be that bad. And you don’t really have to watch it after it goes into the oven. Just set the timer and take them out after 25 minutes.
Note that I did NOT use frozen corn. Instead, I used shredded sweet yellow corn (available in most supermarkets).