Creamed corn is probably one of those dishes that most people who like it won’t admit to it, because the ones who don’t like it don’t like it. (It’s probably the texture.) Many, many years ago we had friends over to dinner. She liked creamed corn, but he didn’t, so she only rarely got to have it. (Has it ever been that common on restaurant menus?) When she learned that we were planning to have creamed corn as a side, she was thrilled. (Note that we had creamed corn–that’s what you do, most of the time–we didn’t make it. That’s what Green Giant is for.)
It was just one of those dishes that we both like, but never really think of having, since we don’t buy many canned vegetables. A few weeks ago, however, I was flipping through a food magazine and found a recipe for creamed corn with homemade garam masala–the first time I ever thought of actually making it. I wanted to check out a few other recipes, and finally found a fairly straightforward one in Joy of Cooking, using cream as the thickener instead of the other recipe’s pureed corn kernels. Both recipes sounded good, so I came up with a semi-elaborate plan: make half a batch of each, mix together a cup of each, and then taste-test all three to see which we like best. (I suspected it would be the mix, because it’s the most complicated.)
I decided in the end just to try one version, using Joy’s cream but the magazine’s seasonings (except the garam masala). It takes almost no time at all, and the hardest part is actually cleaning the silk off the ears. And the results are excellent: it’s like we both remembered, but better.
Creamed Corn Recipe
- 4 ears fresh corn husked and cleaned
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut kernels from ears into a large bowl.
Scrape the cobs with the back of a knife into the same bowl.
Melt butter in a skillet over low heat.
Add onions, garlic, and salt. Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. (Do not brown.)
Stir in corn kernels, juices, and cream. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. (Do not stir.)
Season to taste with salt and pepper.