Thursday, August 13, 2015

TexMex Cheesy Cream Corn

Who doesn't love fresh corn!  Nothing  better than that nice crunch, that sweetness of the good earth.  I have made many different types of corn salad, almost anything goes with corn, but today I was reminded of cream corn.  Wow, what a blast from the past.  I grew up on canned cream corn, and even fed it to my family, but these days there are very few products we eat out of a can, so, I felt it was time to conjure up a fresh cream corn recipe. First I start by listing some of my favorite ingredients that would pair well with corn, and of course it took a sharp right turn to the southwest.  So off to the kitchen I went to see how it would all fall together.

Ingredient list:
3 c fresh corn
8 oz bacon
1/4 c diced scallions
1/4 c each red and orange bell peppers
1/4 Anaheim, Jalapeno, or Serrano peppers
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. granulated onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp. McCormick's Mexican seasoning
1 1/2 c grated cheddar cheese or your favorite Mexican melting cheese
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c chicken broth
Cilantro for garnish

Begin by cooking the bacon.  I like to lay it on a baking sheet and cook in the oven on 375° for about 20 min, time depends on thickness of bacon.  Once cooked, allow it to cool then chop it up and set aside.  

You will need to chop your peppers, you can use regular orange & red bell peppers, or the mini sweet peppers.  For the heat in the dish, Serrano and Jalapenos are hotter than Anaheim peppers, so go bold, or go mellow, whatever your palate tells you.  For the scallions I like to use scissors, just cut the green off of a few bunches, into small pieces.

Now remove the corn from the cob.  I found a helpful tip from Rachel Ray works best for me. Place a small bowl inside another bowl, upside down.  Sit the corn on the inner bowl and cut downward on all sides, this keeps all the kernels in the outer bowl and off of your counter top.

Now we're ready to mix it altogether.  In a medium size bowl place all your dry ingredients, season with granulated garlic, granulated onion, sugar, black pepper and McCormick's Mexican seasoning.  Toss really well to incorporate all the seasonings with the corn.  Now add in the grated cheese and toss again.  You can add salt, but if you are using store bought chicken broth, be sure to taste test the mixture first for saltiness before adding any.

In a small saucepan heat 1 c of chicken broth with 8 oz of cream cheese on very low until you are able to whisk the cheese and break it down completely.   Pour the warm cheese sauce over top and mix together, then place in a casserole dish or an elec. skillet that you have sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven on 350° for about 20-30 min.  If using an elec. skillet, place on warm for about 15 min. All you're really trying to do is melt the cheese and infuse some of the pepper flavor into the dish.

Allow to cool for about 20 min. before serving.  Garnish with cilantro when serving.

Nothing says summer like fresh corn.  Enjoy!