How have I never made this?
Seriously, it makes no sense. Straight-up fresh sweet corn, a little butter, cream, salt & pepper. As easy as it gets. Probably the easiest thing to do with corn, aside from just boiling it. But if you’re doing that, you’re eating it off the cob, and then you have to brush your teeth after, so that counts for energy expended, right?
So I was at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, because it’s what I do. I try to have a plan in mind when I go, an idea of what I might make that week, so as not to spend more money than is wise. But I walked up to one of my regular stands — Homestead Growers (good prices, chemical-free, and shitake mushrooms every week) — and they had one end of their table piled high with sweet corn. Pesticide free. I don’t know much about corn farming, but I know that I never see signs claiming pesticide-free on corn at the farmer’s market. My interest was piqued.
I bought a half-dozen ears with no plan (never say I can’t throw caution to the wind).
But the deal with sweet corn (not supersweet, mind you) is that you need to cook it as soon as possible — the sugars start a downward spiral toward starches the minute it’s picked. At last tired of our beloved corn salad, and with no hot grill to throw them on, creamed came to mind.
And one of my very favorite cookbooks came to the rescue. The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook had directions for creamed corn, which I modified very slightly, adding a little more butter and cream, since I don’t think my corn was as fresh as it needed to be to get enough milk from the kernels (I cooked it the day after I bought it, probably 2 days after it was picked).
I stood at the stove and ate it straight from the cast-iron pan, unable to stop while my kids sat hungry in their bar chairs, begging to be fed (of course, none of them were so hungry as to actually eat the corn I served, so don’t go feelin’ sorry for them).
Unfortunately, creamed corn loses its charm when re-heated. But fortunately, creamed corn is fantastic when used the next day to top a pizza, along with crisp bacon and caramelized onions.
Fantastic enough for a second showing. So this Saturday, it’s part of The Plan to buy another half-dozen ears, which will likely be cooked the moment I return home from the market.
Recipe: Creamed Corn
: serves 4 as a side dish
adapted slightly from a recipe in The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook
- 6 ears freshly-picked corn, husked
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Standing a corn cob on end in a large bowl, and using a large, sharp chef’s knife, cut the kernels off each cob into the bowl. After removing kernels, “milk” the corn by using a spoon to scrape the remaining liquid from the cob into the bowl.
- Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and its liquid, and the cream. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn thickens and no longer tastes raw, about 8 minutes.
- Add salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.