I like corn. It’s about as American a staple as I can think of when it comes to U.S.-produced food. With as much sweet corn as we go through each summer, it’s something we always have an …
I like corn. It’s about as American a staple as I can think of when it comes to U.S.-produced food. With as much sweet corn as we go through each summer, it’s something we always have an abundance of in the freezer as well.
I’m a sucker for the sweet starch myself, but my wife avoids it, partially due to her blood sugar.
In any case, I think it’s a great ingredient, with uses in some of my most favorite dishes: burritos, tacos, stew, chili, chowder, pot pies, bread, muffins, etc. There’s little shortage of what you can do with corn in its whole form, let alone the things that use it in its processed form, like corn syrup or cornmeal. I really dig a little cornmeal under my pizza or a fresh loaf of bread.
So when my wife was looking for something to go with some chicken barbeque she prepared, it made sense to pair it with the cornerstone of the American farmer’s diet: corn.
You’ve heard of cornbread with barbeque; this really wasn’t much different. Instead of bread, she decided to make a corn casserole, which turned out to be fairly bready anyway. If I had to delineate the difference, the casserole was a tad more wet than a normal cornbread. It had an almost gooey composition, more like an under-baked bread. What’s more, it had whole corn kernels in it, as opposed to the finer texture of the processed cornmeal. It just barely held together as you lifted a medium-sized square of it to take a bite.
After testing its heartiness though, I was overcome by its sweetness, and decided this was going to be a treat enjoyed morsel by morsel alongside the also-fabulous barbeque chicken. With just a slight crisp of golden crust on top, the texture was second only to the flavor, which threatened to cast shadows upon what was probably meant to be the main entrée.
My oldest son, who had his own piece and refused to actually try it until after he had completely finished his chicken, was amazed and surprised when he was finally made to sample the golden side. He realized he had been missing out.
My youngest, meanwhile, had annihilated the tray in front of him and left little evidence besides the barbeque smear across chipmunk cheeks flecked with the remains of corn crumbs.
To be honest, I only felt bad there wasn’t more so they could eat more while the getting was good, so to speak.
The way out here, we enjoy our corn fresh in the summer, and every which way we can in the winter. We will certainly be revisiting the corn casserole for years to come, as it has proven to be extremely well received and, for that matter, easy to prepare. I’m even thinking we may need to bring some to our next Thanksgiving gathering to earn a few points with the family.
From a dad out here, stay corny, my friends!
Recipe courtesy of Mrs. Chelsea Hill
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter an 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking dish, or use butter and parchment for easier removal later.
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Mixture should be relatively thick.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until top is golden brown.
Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack. Serve warm.
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