Scalloped Corn – so creamy and delicious.
I was not prepared to love it as much as I did.
I like corn on the cob and in recipes like Corn Chowder. I even like canned cream corn on occasion, but in general it’s not a vegetable that I get overly excited about.
But now that I have had scalloped corn, it’s a whole new corn ballgame.
This simple recipe is a perfect example of using a few fresh, seasonal ingredients to their fullest.
Here’s what you need:
Corn, Onion, Eggs, Flour, Half & Half, Butter, 1 Slice of Bread, Cayenne Pepper, Salt & Pepper.
This recipe comes from the Heart of the Artichoke cookbook by David Tanis. Six months out of the year he is the head chef at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California (which was rudely closed when I was there). The rest of the year, he toughs it out in Paris. Pretty nice gigs.
He would most likely want you to use fresh corn and cut it off the cob. However, if corn isn’t in season (I’m thinking Thanksgiving), you can also use frozen corn.
If you have any experience cutting corn off the cob, you will know that it tends to fly everywhere. A handy trick to keep the corn where you want it is to cut it inside a large mixing bowl.
Invert a smaller bowl in the center, stand the corn cob on end, and cut down the sides to release the kernels of corn. A few might fly away, but most should stay within the confines of the bigger bowl.
I’ve heard that you can also do this trick with a bundt cake pan but haven’t tried it yet.
Cut the kernels off 6-8 ears of corn so you have about 3 cups. I’m using a combination of white corn and bi-colored corn. Choose whatever is freshest at your store or farmer’s market.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Finely chop 1 small onion (about ¾ cup). Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Note: I am using a 10 inch cast iron skillet that will also serve as my baking dish. If you don’t have a skillet that can go into the oven, you can build this in the pan and transfer it to a 10 inch baking dish that has been greased with butter.
Season the onion with a little salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
Add 2 Tablespoons of flour and stir to combine and thicken like a roux.
Cook the flour into the onions for 1-2 minutes…
then pour in 1½ cups of half & half. Stir to combine and remove any lumps of flour.
Stir the corn into sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I added more pepper and more cayenne.
By the way, you could stop here and have the world’s best creamed corn.
Remove the pan from the heat. Separate 2 eggs and add the yolks only to the pan. Stir immediately to combine.
Make some fresh bread crumbs by removing the crust from 1 piece of white or light colored bread.
I only had an Italian loaf that had some assorted seeds on in it but that worked just fine. Pulse the bread in a food processor or blender to make fine crumbs.
Note: Fresh bread crumbs are ESSENTIAL here. Do not substitute dried store bought bread crumbs or your dish will be very dry. If you don’t have any bread, it is better to just omit the bread crumbs entirely.
Scatter the bread crumbs on top of the corn mixture and dot the top with 1 Tablespoon of butter broken into tiny bits.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown on the edges and top.
Serve directly from the skillet.
I dare you to only have one serving.
True story: While we were devouring this, and Jim was exclaiming how much he loved it, I was genuinely surprised because I thought he didn’t like corn. “No,” he said, “I just don’t like corn on the cob. Too much work. Not enough units of pleasure.”
10 years of marriage. Who knew?
Remember this for Thanksgiving!
Here’s the recipe – from David Tanis Heart of the Artichoke