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.