Summertime Creamed Corn
There’s no point in making creamed corn unless you use fresh corn—frozen kernels are just not worth the effort. Standard creamed-corn recipes simply use cream or half-and-half, but mine uses a luxurious Bechamel Sauce that enhances the corn’s fresh-picked sweetness without overwhelming any of its natural good taste. Fried chicken is our staff ’s favorite main dish, but when I make it I always struggle to decide whether to serve it with creamed corn or Creamed Spinach. Each side has its champions.
With this technique, corn kernels are removed from the cob in two steps. Holding an ear of corn upright, use a sharp knife to slice down the ear, cutting the kernels in half. Do this around the entire ear. Then slice down the ear a second time, being careful not to cut into the cob, to remove the rest of the kernels and to scrape the milk from the cob. Each ear of corn will yield 1/3 to ½ cup of kernels.
Serves4 to 6
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Taste and Texturecreamy, rich, savory, sweet
Type of Dishvegetable
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups fresh corn kernels (6 to 8 ears; see Notes)
- 2 cups Béchamel Sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- A few gratings of nutmeg
- Pinch of dried thyme leaves
- Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Heat the oil in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat, stirring occasionally, until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the corn, béchamel, bay leaves, cayenne, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until everything is nice and creamy, about 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Add a squeeze or two of lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
2000 David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips