Market Fresh: Summer creamed corn and corn pudding -- yum

July 16, 2014 10:28:54 AM

Anne Freeze -

 

Please excuse me if I've said this before, but I seem to have replaced my obsession with buying shoes with an obsession for buying corn. I'm at the point of having to throw out forgotten ears stuck behind the bag behind the bag I bought a few days ago. I did make some yummy soup earlier this week with older kernels that could hold up to long cooking and pureeing.  

 

When I was growing up we had two kinds of corn in Athens, Georgia. One was yellow corn, and the other was Silver Queen. The super-sweet varieties weren't developed yet. The Silver Queen was creamy white with an almost opalescent sheen to the small kernels. And the only place to buy it was from Mrs. Argo; well, to be precise, she was "mean Mrs. Argo" at the shed. The farmers' market was under the shed next to the building where you got your driver's license. It carried the basics: corn, tomatoes, greens, butter beans and peaches. Now there are at least three different markets in town, and I'm sure corn is available at each one. 

 

Fast forward many years later. I had moved back home to Athens after roaming around here and there, and I opened a food shop with a business partner. We specialized in making everything that we sold either in the kitchen of our shop or outsourcing it locally, as in our sandwich bread. One day, one of our cooks brought back what appeared to be hundreds of ears of corn from his grandmothers' farm in South Georgia. I can still see Dan sitting on an upturned bucket in the kitchen shucking that corn, slowly, ear by ear. 

 

One of the dishes I came up with for this bounty was creamed corn mixed with sugar snap peas. I am quite sure I must have seen this somewhere, but once I read it I adapted it to suit our style of cooking. As I don't have a real recipe I am adapting it even further by using Ronni Lundy's recipe for creamed corn and adding in what it needs to be my recipe. I am also including her recipe for Summer Corn Pudding, which is delicious.  

 

I hope you enjoy and get to the markets this week in time to get yourself some corn! 

 

 

 

CREAMED CORN 

 

 

 

6 ears of corn (makes about 4 cups of cut corn) 

 

4 tablespoons butter 

 

4 tablespoons half-and-half 

 

Salt 

 

Pepper 

 

 

 

(Note: Ronni Lundy's mother says you must use a small, sharp knife and cut down the length of the shucked and silked corncob. Take just the tops off of the kernels. After it is all cut then take a small kitchen spoon, turn its back to you and scrape down and around the cob again to get the remainder of the kernels and the milk. I use the back of a knife to do this.) 

 

  • Use the above method to cut the kernels from the cobs. For each cup of corn, put a tablespoon of butter in a skillet on medium high and melt. As soon as it's melted, add the corn to the skillet. Then add a tablespoon of half and half for each cup of corn. (Some smart people use bacon grease.) If the corn begins to dry up too quickly, you may want to add more half-and-half - but the dish isn't supposed to be soupy. 

     

  • Cook, stirring frequently, over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes. The mixture will bubble like lava toward the end of the process, but you must be careful not to let it burn or stick. Turn down the heat if necessary. Taste for salt and pepper. When it's ready, kernels will still be a little crisp and fresh tasting, but the dish will taste buttery and "cooked," not raw. 

     

    (Source: "Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken," by Ronnie Lundy) 

     

     

     

    FOR CREAMED CORN WITH SUGAR SNAPS 

     

     

     

  • Blanch 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of sugar snap peas (or halved tender green beans) in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Saute in butter 1 bunch of scallions (white and pale green part, thinly sliced) for a minute. Add peas (or beans) and scallions to corn and stir. 

     

     

     

    SUMMER CORN PUDDING 

     

     

     

    4 cups corn (cut as directed in above recipe, being sure to save all of the juice) 

     

    2 eggs, well beaten 

     

    1/2 cup half-and-half 

     

    6 tablespoons melted butter 

     

    2 tablespoons sugar 

     

    3 tablespoons flour 

     

    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 

     

    1/4 teaspoon salt 

     

    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

     

    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

     

    1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan 

     

     

     

  • In a big bowl, beat eggs, then add half-and-half and melted butter. 

     

  • Mix in sugar, flour, nutmeg, salt, cayenne and Worcestershire; when all are well blended, fold in the cut corn. 

     

  • Pour into a greased 2 1/2-quart casserole, sprinkle Parmesan on top and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until pudding is firm and has a nice brown crust.  

     

    (Source: "Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken," by Ronni Lundy)