Creamed Corn with Herbs and Parmesan
Creamed corn (or cream-style corn, as it is more popularly known today), according to what I’ve read, has a long history in the United States. Traditionally, no milk nor cream was added. The creaminess was derived from the natural milky reside from the cobs. The kernels were cooked until soft and starch was released during cooking which thickened the dish. The cooking time was long and the corn required stirring and attention to make sure that nothing scorched at the bottom of the pan.Well, that was then. And this recipe is hardly traditional American. In fact, there's Parmesan in my creamed corn.Parmesan? Really? Yes. Really. Parmesan adds another dimension of creaminess and flavor to creamed corn that is hard to resist.
- Peel the corn and discard all the corn silk (the hairy strands) attached to the cob.
- Take one ear of corn and hold it vertically on the chopping board. Slice off the kernels shallowly, turning the cob as you continue slicing. Keep turning and slicing until all the kernels have been removed (see illustration). Repeat with the second ear of corn.
- With a spoon, scrape off all the milky residue from the corn ears and mix with the kernels.
- Peel and roughly chop the onion.
- Heat the butter in a pan. Saute the chopped onion until lightly caramelized.
- Add the corn kernels to the onion. Sprinkle in the thyme, sage and a little salt and pepper. Stir.
- Pour in enough water to cover the corn kernels. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer the corn until softened, all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has thickened from the starch expelled by the corn kernels.
- Pour in the cream and stir. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Remember that you will be adding Parmesan so don’t overdo the salt.
- When the mixture starts to simmer, turn off the heat. Stir in half of the parsley and all of the Parmesan. Taste once again and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
- Ladle the herbed creamed corn with Parmesan into a shallow bowl or bowls. Sprinkle in the rest of the parsley before serving.
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