What’s Cookin’ by Jeanne Briggs — December 31, 2009

Let’s All Get Corny…

Jeanne Briggs
Jeanne Briggs


            Next to tomatoes, freshly picked corn steamed on the cob is right up on the top of everyone’s favorite summer vegetable list. Corn seems to make us all behave like kids with butter on our noses and dripping off our chins. Eating corn as a kid, I remember having a contest to see which kid could chomp down and back on a row of kernels the fastest. This was corn as a sport. Now on to some serious “adult” recipes that you just won’t be able to resist. It’s time to get “corny.”


Corn Timbales

2 bacon strips, cut up and fried crispy
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
2-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease eight 1/2-cup ramekins. Combine the ingredients, except the crisp bacon, reserving 1 cup of the kernels. Place mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Stir in the reserved kernels and the bacon and divide between the ramekins. Bake in a hot water bath for 25 minutes, or until set. Allow to rest a few minutes before loosening edges and un-molding. Garnish with chopped, roasted red peppers. Serves 8.

Warm Corn and Prosciutto

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ears of corn, kernels cut and scraped from cobs
2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, toss in the corn kernels. Add the milk, and cook over very low heat for several minutes, until just barely tender. The timing will depend on the variety and age of the corn used. Season with salt and sugar, then toss in the prosciutto. Serves 6.

Pasta with Gorgonzola and White Corn Sauce

6 tablespoons minced red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1-1/2 cups evaporated skim milk
6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Several dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 pound cooked fettuccine (hot)
1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind
12 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips
6 mint leaves, cut into thin strips
4 ears white corn, kernels cut from cob and scraped
8 thick slices bacon, fried crisp and chopped

Wilt the onion in the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat without browning, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and evaporated milk, and heat. Add the cheese and Tabasco, and continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring until cheese melts and is thickened. Remove from heat. Put the pasta on to cook. When the fettuccine is almost done, reheat the sauce, adding all the other ingredients except the bacon, stirring well. Toss the drained pasta with about 1/2 cup of the sauce and divide among 8 warmed bowls. Top each serving with more sauce and sprinkle with bacon. Serves 8.

Barbecued Corn on the Cob

1 cup cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s bourbon
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 medium red onion, diced
2 (14-oz.) bottles ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
18 ears fresh corn, husked and cleaned

Combine all ingredients except ketchup, mustard and corn in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and mustard off the heat. Let cool, then refrigerate. Now husk your corn, clean it, and roast it over coals. While it’s still hot, brush it all around with the sauce. This sauce can be saved, refrigerated.

Corn Fritters with Ham

1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
About 6 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup finely chopped, cooked ham
1 teaspoon dried, minced onion
1 cup fresh corn kernels
Oil for frying

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the butter and eggs. Blend well, and add a few tablespoons of milk. Mix well; the dough should be smooth but not runny, and you should be just able to push it from the spoon with a second spoon. Keep adding milk and mixing until you reach the right consistency. Stir in onion, ham and corn. Heat oil in the deep fryer to about 365F. Drop batter by generous tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Cook, turning gently, until dark golden but not burned—several minutes. Test first fritter for doneness before going on, as they can be deceptive, looking done on the outside while still raw in the middle. Drain on paper towels. Makes approximately 24.

Sweet Corn Cakes

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup creamed corn (canned)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
About 1/2 cup milk

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix the egg, corn and oil in another bowl. Combine the two mixtures and then add enough milk to make a thin batter. Heat a griddle, grease it, and ladle out about 1/4 cup of batter for each cake. Cook until the bubbles on top burst, taking a peek from time to time to make sure the bottom isn’t getting too dark. Turn and cook until golden on the other side. Make10 to 12 cakes. Serve with syrup, fruit or powdered sugar.

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