Today, we’re going to call this column ‘Country Cooking 101.’ This will be old hat for all of you longtime cooks, so bear with us who are still learning.
One night last week, I decided I wanted to cook an old-fashioned country meal. The menu? Purple hull peas, greens, creamed corn, sliced tomatoes, fresh cantaloupe and cornbread.
Now, I’ve been cooking peas and greens for years, so those were no-brainers. And how hard is it to slice a tomato and cube some cantaloupe? Husband Charlie likes to make cornbread, so that was taken care of.
Which left us with the creamed corn.
I’ve never cooked “real” creamed corn before, so I started looking to the Internet for recipes. I found one that called for sautampéed leeks for extra flavor and another that featured crumbled bacon. And then I found one that just had corn, butter, milk, a bit of sugar and some corn starch for thickening.
I consulted our features editor, Leslie Criss, who often ate country vegetables at her Mammaw’s house and she said the simple recipe was the way to go.
Indeed, it was. In fact, it was so good we made it again three nights later.
The original recipe (from “Southern Living”) appears below, but when I prepared the dish, I made a couple of changes. First, I used only 2 tablespoons of butter and second, I increased the milk to about 1 cup. Anyway you go, you can’t mess up this recipe.
(And now, on a personal note to some of you readers who have been giving me grief for months now about my old column picture: Hope you like the new one. I hate having my picture taken, so this one is going to have to last a good three years.)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
21/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 8 ears)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; stir in corn kernels and milk. Sprinkle with cornstarch, sugar, and salt; stir well.
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal