Thursday, August 13, 2009

Easy Homemade Creamed Corn

If you've ever eaten real, homemade creamed corn, you know it is NOTHING like the gooey stuff sold in a can (although that stuff is good as an extra ingredient in cornbread, I think). Making it from scratch takes a lot of time and pans if you use the usual recipe to prepare the corn, make the cream sauce, etc. Here's a method I use all the time that's more of the "cooking without a recipe" type. It uses just one pan and a wooden spoon-- yay-- less dishes!

Easy Homemade Creamed Corn
1 10oz. pkg. frozen corn
milk or "half and half" (depends how rich you want it)
salt and pepper
Melt about 2 T. (about 1-inch off the butter stick) over medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add the frozen corn. Stir and cook until it's thawed and almost starting to get golden. You might have to add bit of water to get things going at first. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle in about 2 T. flour over the corn. Cook and stir the mixture for about a minute (it will look a mess). Turn the heat back to medium-high and pour in some milk to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir until the mixture is bubbly. If it is too thick for your taste, add more milk. If it's too thin, let it cook a little more over low heat while you're doing something else, stirring now and then. It will continue to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper and Tabasco if you want.
Note: Adding chopped poblano peppers (roasted, peeled, seeded) to this dish makes it super good! If you like things really spicy, add the peppers at the end of cooking and serve. If you want the heat to tame a bit, add the peppers when you add the milk and let the creamed corn sit around awhile while you get the rest of dinner ready, then reheat quickly. The protein in the milk breaks down the chemicals that make the chiles hot, so the longer they react with the milk, the milder the taste. You'll find that if you reheat leftovers the next day, there will be very little chile spice, but the good flavor is still there!
You can use this method for just about anything you want to serve "creamed": potatoes, peas, spinach, etc. For fresh potatoes, add a little water to cook them without browning and cut them up smaller so they will cook quickly. Let the water evaporate before adding the flour and milk.

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