Creamed corn is summer’s comfort food.
The starchy residue that lies beneath the kernels thickens the corn, and in this version, cream seals the deal. Even summer has its cool and rainy days, but a warm bowl of these sweet golden kernels can cheer you while you wait for the sun to come out.
FRESH VS. FROZEN CORN
In corn season, fresh corn is always optimal, and it really is the sweetest, most irresistible choice. You can also extract corn milk, a sweet starchy liquid, from the cobs of fresh corn. Corn that is fresh off the cob has a creamy, succulent quality that announces summer is here!
Having said that, you could substitute frozen corn, especially if you want to make this for a fall holiday (hello, Thanksgiving!) when corn is not in season.
Unfortunately, you can’t extract corn milk from frozen kernels. To mimic the creaminess of corn milk using frozen corn, try pureeing a small amount (about 1/3 cup of the kernels) in a blender to release some of the starch, and stir it into the corn.
MAKE-AHEAD CREAMED CORN
Once made, creamed corn can be stored in the refrigerator for at least three days. It can also be frozen for up to three months.
HOW TO SERVE THIS SIDE DISH
When corn is abundant, you could serve creamed corn with any warm weather meal as a side dish, but it’s not just for summer.
It would also be a good addition to your Thanksgiving table, especially since it can be made ahead of time with frozen corn.
By itself it is pure heaven, but you could vary it by adding some spicy jalapeños or chopped poblano peppers; other additions that come to mind are chopped basil, sliced cherry tomatoes, and cooked bacon crumbles.
For a creamed corn casserole, add a little extra liquid (cream or water,) sprinkle a little cheddar or Parmesan on top, and bake in a 375ºF oven until brown and bubbly.
NEED MORE CORN RECIPES?
Creamed Corn Recipe
- 6 ears corn, shucked (4 to 5 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or yellow onions
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup half and half
- Chopped fresh parsley, chives, or tarragon (for garnish)
1 Remove the corn kernels: Set an ear of corn on a cutting board, and working from the thick to the narrow end, cut off 2 rows of kernels. Turn and cut off 2 or 3 more rows. Continue in this way until all the kernels are off all the cobs.
Alternatively, use a corn scraper. Set the cobs on a rimmed baking sheet to keep the kernels from flying all over the place when you remove the kernels.
2 Scrape the cob to release the creamy milk: After you have removed the kernels, hold one cob over the pile of corn on the cutting board or baking sheet, and use the back of the knife to rub across it, going back and forth, to release the pulpy corn milk. Repeat with all the ears. The starchy liquid of the corn milk adds creaminess to the kernels.
3 Cook the corn: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots or onions and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the shallots soften but are not brown. Add the corn, corn milk, salt, pepper, and half and half.
Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the kernels are tender and the corn looks creamy and slightly thickened. If it seems dry, stir in more cream or water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
4 Serve the corn: Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot, garnished with chopped herbs.
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