Saturday, January 15, 2011

Now, kill two New Year’s resolutions with one recipe!

I am thrilled to graduate to a regular rotation with this wonderful group of friends on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I feel honored to be invited and I’ll be showing up very third Saturday with a big grin on my face (and maybe the odd bit of chocolate). But to kick things off, I thought I’d behave and get in that serious New Year’s ‘remake ourselves’ mode.

Chances are that this January many of you (like me) are engaged in the annual obsession to reorganize the same closets and cupboards we have been ignoring for the other eleven months. Hey, we’re busy. As I have an organizer sleuth in the Charlotte Adams series, it’s really important that I don’t let myself slip into total chaos. The optics would be bad.

So back to work: when you rummage in the back of those kitchen cupboards you’ll probably find a stack of canned and packaged staples that you stocked up on back in the distant past. What is it with those bulk purchases? I mean, how many sardines can you eat? As this organizing binge coincides with the annual January urge to spend less, with luck you can use it to your delicious and economical advantage.

This recipe is an adaptation of an ancient James Beard recipe from a battered cookbook. I was searching for a corn casserole and came across the earlier versions of this. It was a hit with my family and later with my daughter’s children. The result? Everyone in the family including my three grandsons can make this corn casserole and it is often part of family dinners and even shows up on Thanksgiving. The best part? You can’t really go wrong if you add a little more or a little less of any ingredient. We’re not talking layer cake or soufflé here.

So you can mess around with additional ingredients or your favorite seasonings and the stuff you have in your fridge: I always have parsley and green onions in mine. It’s a good dish for those days when the snow keeps you from the three grocery stores that you shop at each week (survey says). Plus the price is right and it doesn’t get much easier! If fact, it’s faster to make than it is to type up.

Preheat the oven to 375.


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

1 12 oz. can of corn niblets, preferably from the back of your cupboard

Liquid from drained can of corn

Milk added to liquid from corn should add up to 1 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Paprika if you like

Optional: chopped red pepper, chopped ham or cooked crumbled bacon.

Optional: chopped parley and chopped green onion sautéed in butter

Optional: chopped mild (or livelier!) green chilies. Bet you found a can or two of those back there too!


Melt the butter and add the flour. Stir constantly for two minutes over medium heat. It will foam up nicely. Try not to let it brown, although the world won’t end if it does. Add the milk (and corn liquid) and bring to a boil, stirring, until it thickens.

Add the corn and seasonings. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

Add the beaten eggs and any of those optional suggestions. The chopped, sautéed red pepper and ham are particularly fabulous if you want to make a light lunch out of it.

Transfer into buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until top is set. What the heck, it's so easy you could make two.

Of course, in the summer when corn is fresh, you could get a snazzy dish with delicious fresh corn and seasonings. I know that, but never mind. This IS winter, where I am, and I like things easy. And neat! I hope you will too.

I know that Charlotte Adams would approve of this recipe, not that she can cook to save her life.


  1. This is something I could make. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm so excited to have you here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, MJ! And I love this corn casserole recipe and the flexibility and ease of it all. Thanks!

  3. Waving at fellow (sister?) Saturday friend!

    I have a similar corn casserole recipe that I stole from a Bon Appetit magazine in the 80s and have been making every since. It's great for brunches because you can eat it warm or cold.

    Hey, I finished the giant cinnamon container I bought when my daughter was still in college--it only took, uh, four years.

  4. Thanks, Dru! I am always hunting for easy recipes with a big payoff. I'm like you and must keep lots of time for reading too.

    Elizabeth, I appreciate that! I am so happy to be here. It's such a wonderful group of talented writers who are also brilliant in the kitchen. I love you all!

  5. Oh, MJ, you make me laugh. I love your recipe, but I think I like your comments sprinkled throughout even more! This is my kind of recipe. A little more, a little less...all good! So happy you're part of the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen crowd!

  6. Hi Sheila! I am glad to be your fellow (or sister!) I too have found many keepers in Bon Appetit (pause sadly for reflect on its demise). And I know the pressure to get through a bulk cinnamon purchase before it's nothing but a tasteless brown lump.

  7. Thank you, Julie, for letting me feel at home here and able to make little jokes as I go. I know you have a great sense of humor as well as those spectacular recipes.

  8. MJ Honey - Welcome, Welcome!! I'm going to love seeing you here more often during my regular trips to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I'm a big fan of recipes that can honestly own up to not having to be so precise. Precise eludes me. This sounds delish!

  9. MJ so good to see you over here at MLK. I love the recipe and how easy it is. Charlotte needs to take cooking lessons from you :).

    The World of Book Reviews

  10. That is a simple recipe and the dish looks yummy. Glad to see you here and will be looking for you every third Saturday.

    Thoughts in Progress

  11. MJ, I'm so glad you joined us here at MLK. I've been eyeing my pantry because I know it's time to dive in and clean it out.

    I *am* going to try this casserole whether the pantry is cleaned or not! It sounds so easy and delicious.

    ~ Krista

  12. MJ-so glad you've joined us. love the recipe. I, too, sort of guess measurements in the kitchen. It's the sigcreate creative mind...I think. lOL

  13. This is perfect. In my cupboard at the moment I have about 10 cans of clams. (No laughing. We use them for quickie linguine with clam sauce. But even I have to admit that's way too many cans of clams.) I think a few clams in this recipe will be delicious! Welcome, MJ. I am so very, very happy you've joined our Kitchen on a regular basis!

    Cheers, Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  14. What time is dinner served, MJ? Great to see you at this site...will keep my blank recipe cards handy (the ones I rarely use even when they have writing on them).

  15. Thanks, Kaye, Babs and Mason! I am glad to see you here too. It is great to be talking food with friends, especially people like you three who do such a great job telling the world about books and authors.

  16. Krista, Avery and Cleo, thank you! I have so much fun (and so many tasty results) from reading you here (and your books too), that I can't believe my good luck to be part of your great group.

  17. Erika, I love that! I am sure you have cheese straws on at least one card though!

  18. ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I need to make this!

  19. Hi M.J.!!!
    Welcome to one of my favorite daily stops...this is a brilliant take on corn casserole. I began with the age old Jiffy corn bread recipe and through the years and added and subtracted many different ingredients. Yours looks like a keeper and I will make one up this week :-) Thanks so very much and welcome again!
    Nanc...who currently has a hoard of Jiffy corn bread mixes

  20. I love those pantry-cleaning recipes. Somehow, they always seem to work. Definitely will give this one a try.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  21. It's so nice to meet you, Juju! I am a fan of whimsy myself.

    And Nanc, you are in all the fun places. I don't think we have the jiffy corn mixes here in my corner of the frozen north.

    Terry, you're right, the pantry cleaning recipes always seem to workl Good thing too!