Glamorosi's Recipe Box: Creamy Skillet Corn


By REESE AMOROSI

Toward the end of the 1890s my maternal Great Grandparents and my Grandmother (who was a child at the time) left the Calabria region of Italy and settled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where they set up a farm, had more kids (for a total of 17) and opened a produce business. Since I spent so much time around my Mother's side of the family, specifically with my Great Aunt Lily with whom I lived on and off, my cooking style is largely informed by Italian tradition. My late Father, however, was raised in the Virgin Islands and the American South (and as an adult he mastered French cooking; by the time I was 7 he was schooling me on Julia Child recipes, although to this day I'm certainly no expert), and quite often his influences shine through in my cooking too. One of the Southern dishes my Father taught me early on was skillet corn.

There are many, many ways to make skillet corn; this is my personal recipe, my own spin on my Father's way of preparing it. This corn dish contains cream and bacon and is loaded with calories and cholesterol and sodium, but since most of what I consume is very healthy, I don't feel bad about eating with abandon a few times a week; your mileage (and your arteries) may vary. By the way, if you prefer non-dairy recipes, my Father didn't use cream in his skillet corn - you can omit it and it's still delicious. You can also use ham instead of bacon, or leave the meat out entirely - there is no wrong way to make it.

Creamy skillet corn is tasty, crunchy, easy to prepare, and inexpensive. We live and shop in Philly's Italian Market where we get 6-8 ears of corn for $2 from one of the produce vendors (and usually during summer months we get it for 10 cents an ear), and a pound of really excellent bacon goes for $3.50 at Esposito's butcher shop (and usually has 10-12 medium-cut slices). In our area, heavy whipping cream is currently $2.59 to $2.89 for a half pint (8 oz).

I like to make creamy skillet corn when we have people over because it's a real crowd-pleaser, but when it's just the two of us it lasts for two meals. For the first dinner my husband A.D. and I always have two servings each, and then save the rest for a totally different dish that I made up – it reflects both my Mother’s and Father’s sides of the family – I'll show you in a future Glamorosi’s Recipe Box post.


GLAMOROSI's CREAMY SKILLET CORN

Prep: 20-25 minutes (including shucking the corn)
Actual cooking time: 25 minutes (including bacon and onions)
Yield: 8 servings
 
INGREDIENTS

6 large ears of corn
6 slices bacon
1 small onion (or leeks or chives), chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Shuck corn, rinse, cut corn off of cobs, then scrape cobs with spoon to get the corn milk, put all corn and corn milk into a large bowl (it winds up being around 6 cups)
2. Fry bacon until crispy, remove from skillet (I prefer cast iron for this recipe) and cut or crumble into pieces; add bacon to bowl of corn
3. Sauté onion in bacon drippings for 3-5 minutes until soft, add to bowl with corn and bacon
4. Mince garlic (I do this while the onion is cooking), add to bowl, stir all ingredients
5. Empty bowl into skillet and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so that the corn cooks evenly
6. Add cream, turn down heat to medium-low, and continue stirring for 10 minutes. Slight bubbling is okay but don't let it boil
7. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl

SUGGESTED MENUS
  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, creamy skillet corn, pineapple upside-down cake
  • Chicken and waffles, collard greens, fried tomatoes, creamy skillet corn, peach cobbler
  • Pork chops or tenderloin with roasted carrots, broccoli, creamy skillet corn, baked apples
  • Iced tea (sweet or un-sweet)

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this recipe, if you enjoyed it, what you served with it, etc. Please feel free to leave questions or comments on this post.

Recipe and photos ©Glamorosi 2013
Please do not re-post or re-print without permission

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:00 AM