I've often said that I'm not the most southern southern girl you've ever met, but there are a couple of really southern things that I do like. One of them is my Mama Sue's creamed corn.
Mama Sue was my great-grandmother - the one who desperately tried to turn me into a girl when all I wanted to do was climb the giant Magnolia in her yard. She's been gone for several years now, but she would be happy to know that I turned out to be a decent cook. It seems to me that she was good at everything but cooking was definitely her special skill and the creamed corn that she made with the fresh corn from her own garden was my absolute favorite.
Today's recipe doesn't attempt to duplicate hers. Instead, it's my own variation on the theme. With some fresh corn from the farmer's market - or even your local grocery store - you can serve up this version of an old southern favorite any night of the week.
Here's what you'll need:
4 ears of fresh corn
2 tbsp of bacon grease
1/2 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of milk (or heavy cream)
1 tbsp of flour
Salt to taste
Chili powder to taste
Shuck the corn really well and get as much of the silk out as you can. You'll need a large bowl and a sharp knife to remove the corn from the cob. Using the sharp side of the knife, carefully cut half of the kernels off the cob. Make sure you don't cut all the way to the cob. Next, use the dull side of the knife to scrape the rest of the corn from the cob.
I used my greasy bacon pan from breakfast to cook the corn. If you want to do that, too, pour out most of the grease, leaving just a couple of tablespoons plus the crispy bacon pieces that are still stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the corn to the skillet, heat to medium and stir well with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the bacon pieces from the bottom so that they get incorporated into the corn.
Add the butter and the milk or cream. I included the flour here because I used 2% milk. If you have whole cream on hand, you can probably do without the flour. Either way, stir well to keep things from sticking.
Add the salt and chili powder to taste. I recommend starting small with the chili powder and working your way up. You don't want it to overtake the dish, just to contribute.
This only takes about half an hour, so it's an easy weeknight dish. You can also make it in really large quantities and freeze it for later. Serve it with fried chicken and mashed potatoes for a full blown southern meal!