Creamless Creamed Corn
In experimenting with different vegetable juices one day, I discovered that heating corn “juice” caused it to thicken quickly, due to the natural cornstarch. This led to a modern interpretation of the creamed corn I loved as a kid, and is a good example of how experimenting with an ingredient can yield discoveries that change the way you cook.
Certain varieties of corn are being grown (in Florida, for example) that are labeled “super sweet.” I’m not a big fan; the extra sugar makes dishes come out too sweet and it lacks the starch that will cause the “creamed” corn to thicken. Locally grown corn bought in season will be sweet enough, and better than anything shipped from a distance.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecreamy, savory, sweet
Type of Dishvegetable
- 12 ears of corn, shucked
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
Using a box grater, grate the kernels from 5 ears of corn into a bowl. Press the grated corn through a fine sieve, reserving the “milk” and discarding the grated corn and the cobs.
Cut the kernels from the remaining ears of corn. Combine the corn kernels, ¼ cup water, salt, and pepper in a medium pan. Cover the pan and steam over medium-low heat, stirring once or twice, until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, then set the corn aside.
Stirring constantly, bring the corn “milk” to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, continuing to stir, until the “milk” thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked corn, salt, pepper, and butter (if using) and cook until the corn is heated through. Serve warm.
2000, 2007 Tom Colicchio