Thursday, March 29, 2012

Corn Does Double Duty (Casserole and Cakes)

I  felt the urge to make a corn casserole last week. I'm not even sure what sparked it, but I just had to make one. I didn't have the one main ingredient I wanted to use though so at our next grocery store trip, I picked up a can of creamed corn. (I think I had some when I was a little kid, but haven't ever had the need to eat or buy it since then.) Well, that creamed corn sat in the pantry for a few days while I thought about how I would approach the casserole. 

I worked out some ideas and wrote a few different options before I settled on a recipe that sounded pretty good. I didn't really feel like making a typical casserole so I went for more of a baked, semi-creamy, polenta style casserole. It was pretty easy to make and I was quite pleased with the outcome. There was a little kick with each bite (try adding a jalapeno for more heat) and the melted cheese on top added a nice, salty contrast. I also didn't want a cakey texture so I didn't add any eggs. This left the casserole smooth and light. Everyone really like it, too. It actually tasted better after it sat for a little bit when the cooking was done so if you give this one a try, let it sit for about 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven.

This recipe made a good amount so we had quite a bit left over. After a couple more days of eating some of the left over casserole, I decided to reinvent it in a different form. I mixed a little bit of what was left with a little more flour and corn, a couple eggs, and a little baking powder to get some awesome, little corn cakes. They were so good! But really, what's not to love about pan-fried corn pancakes? They were moist and full of flavor and are a fun, little side dish that's different than the norm. And if your little ones at home don't like their veggies, you can always throw them into pancake form and they'll be sure to gobble them up.  

Corn Casserole

3 TB butter
1 sm onion, diced
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp sugar
1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 TB fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Melt butter in large skillet and add onions. Cook until soft.
3. Add flour and stir well. Let cook for about three minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Slowly add milk to flour, stirring as you add.
5. Add corn, creamed corn, cornmeal and sugar to pan. Mix well.
6. Add spices and parsley and mix well.
7. Spray a 1.5 qt casserole dish with non-stick spray.
8. Pour mixture into dish and sprinkle with cheese.
9. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
10. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Corn Cakes

1 1/2 c corn casserole
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
pinch onion powder
1/4 tsp sugar

1. Mix all ingredients together well.
2. Heat about 1/4" oil in a skillet over medium heat.
3. When oil is hot, drop about two heaping tablespoon-fulls to form a pancake. Flatten slightly to about 2 1/2" rounds. 
4. Cook over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned. 
5. Drain on paper towel.

No comments:

Post a Comment