It's summertime and when I'm trolling the produce aisle at the Shop-Rite, bright, sunny, golden ears of corn keep calling my name. Okay, maybe it's just the voices in my head, but they're compelling me to make something corny with that corn. Something really really really corny. It just sounds like summer. Anyway, it's important for you to understand that I am not a natural corn lover. I ate a lot of it as a kid either out of a can or frozen cobs boiled within an inch of any beneficial nutrient. (Sorry Mom!) Not to mention the 5 year stint of braces during the 80s that made this little starchy staple my mortal enemy. Corn on the cob? Yeah, right! You can see why my memories are not exactly fond... Over the years, I've learned to love sweet summer corn, carefully trimmed off the cob and dotted with some cold butter. Building new memories that are slowly taking over the old ones.
On another note, this post triggered a long-suppressed memory of some weird corn casserole my mom made all the time when I was a kid. I HATED it. It had ground beef, egg noodles, ketchup, shredded cheddar cheese, canned corn and most likely a can of cream-of-something-or-other soup dumped in to hold it all together. Pure torture if you ask me. Shudder.
Anyway, sorry about that unfortunate culinary tangent... back to better things. Here's the casserole recipe - it makes about 6 smallish servings. Who am I kidding - in our house it serves about 4. Too good to skimp! I found this original recipe at The Pioneer Woman... made just a few tweaks mostly based on what else was in my pantry... and on my mood, of course, always my mood. On this day, my mood was a little bit southwestern. Yeehaw, y'all. : )
- 6 ears fresh corn
- 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers (or green chiles)
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, scant
- 2 Tbsp. butter, salted
- sprinkle of paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. Slice kernels off of cob into a deep bowl. Once kernels have been removed, place the cob down in the bowl and using the edge of a spoon scrape any pulp and milk left in the kernels. Be ruthless! Pour heavy cream over corn, mix and salt to taste... about 1 Tbsp or so. Crack fresh black pepper over the top - use quite a bit, don't be shy... something about the pepper gives this dish a little, and much needed, kick. Mix in the sour cream and red peppers until combined. Pour into a lightly greased baking dish, dot with chopped up pats of butter, sprinkle paprika on top, and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Let dish sit for 5-10 minutes, garnish with some chopped chives if you're feeling fancy, and serve.