Thursday, 20 January 2011

Symon's Creamed Corn with Bacon

There were times, often during holiday season, where I found myself in alien environments with foreign foodstuffs such as pillsbury rolls and canned cream corn. Such wondrously processed foods never to be seen in the homes of those poor unwashed flower children such as myself. Railing against the establishment meant eschewing these packaged frankenfoods but not, apparently, when we dropped ourselves on the doorsteps of random aunts and uncles for the holidays. Generally having carried all our laundry with us in garbage bags on the public transit.. But that's another story.

My point is, as children we are more aware of what we don't have than what we do. Okay, maybe as adults too. When we would visit my "normal" relatives, they would serve up foodstuffs that I had come to love and look forward to. Take the creamed corn. From a can, likely brand-name. But if I ever get nostalgic and try to buy and serve one of these cans of "creamed corn" now? Tastes like sweetened library paste. Sigh, you can't go home again. Not that I'd want to of course, but when I read that Michael Symon had a kick-ass homemade creamed corn - I wanted it. And I was not disappointed. This is cream corn to love as an adult. It has bacon in it, for crying out loud. And creme fraiche. So you can feel like a grown-up.

He uses fresh corn, which is awesome, I would if we were not in the deep freeze of winter in Canada. I subbed in two cans of peaches and cream niblets and used the juice plus veggie stock to equal the two cups of corn broth.  

Go ahead, make your own creamed corn - from scratch.

Creamed Corn with Bacon
Recipe courtesy Michael Symon
Food Network Episode: Holiday Family Traditions
a Symon Sundays rewind

Corncob stock:

    * 5 shucked ears corn (kernels removed and reserved*)
    * 1 bay leaf
    * 2 cloves garlic
    * 1/2 onion peeled and quartered
    * 1 tablespoon whole coriander seed
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 2 quarts water

Corn saute:

    * 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    * 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon cut into lardons
    * 1 cup diced yellow onion
    * 1 clove garlic minced
    * *Reserved corn kernels
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 2 cups reserved corncob stock
    * 1/2 cup creme fraiche
    * 1 tablespoon butter
    * 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
    * 1 lime, zested


For the stock:

Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook to reduce liquid to 2 cups, approximately 30 minutes. Strain and reserve, keeping stock warm.

To finish the corn:

Begin heating a large saucepan, and glaze bottom with the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the lardons and cook over medium heat, rendering the fat and browning the pieces, stirring as needed. Add the onion and sweat, about 45 seconds. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, another 30 seconds. Add the corn and salt, continuing to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the reserved corncob stock and bring to a simmer, cooking until the liquid reduces to approximately 2/3 cup. Add the creme fraiche and simmer 3 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the butter and stir. Remove pan from heat; stir in cilantro and lime zest. Check for seasoning and serve.