Thursday, June 3, 2010

Southern Fried Corn

Fresh corn is stripped from the cob, then fried in bacon drippings and butter, and gets just a splash of cream if you like.

Southern Fried Corn

Fried corn is a southern favorite for sure and Florida corn has just started to show up in the markets here. When it does start to appear, this is one of the favorites in our family.  Back when I made my creamed corn, I promised to bring you the recipe for my fried corn. Well, here it is... finally!

Southern cooks, we are a funny lot indeed, because we all have our own ways of doin' things, especially when it comes down to the kitchen, and some get real adamant about things only being done one specific way or else it's wrong.  I know I have my own quirks about things too - like getting all up in arms about people calling sandwiches or subs po'boys when they aren't po'boys! But... I do always try to impart to others here on my blog that they really ought to make things their own when it comes down to the way they prepare food. Yes. Including with my recipes. The only right way, is the way that makes you happy.

Well, a lot of my fellow southerners would consider what I called creamed corn, to be fried corn, but, my fried corn is a little bit different from my creamed corn, and yeah ... you'll be using some bacon and some bacon drippings for this one too, though the method is slightly different. No, we don't have this dish every day, but when we do, it's mighty good!

I like to sprinkle the corn with a little sugar and give it a toss while I cook the bacon. Corn just calls for sugar in my humble opinion and it really pulls out the sweetness of the corn. Once you toss the corn into that hot fat, it begins to caramelize to this wonderful yummy sweet & salty flavor.  Take care not to overcook it and toughen your corn, and go easy on extra salt. You'll get most of your saltiness from the bacon itself and often won't need any additional salt at all, so give it a taste once you pepper it up and see if you need any additional salt first before adding any.

By the way you don't need a special tool for shearing the corn off a cob, just follow my tip and clean if off easy and keep all of the corn kernels contained and off of the countertop and floor! In this recipe, you'll only want to shear off the tops of the kernels, so that you can then scrape the pulp and the corn milk off.

The absolute best corn for southern fried corn is the Silver Queen variety, though some would argue that she's been a bit dethroned by newer varieties. Not as far as southerners are concerned. It's a delectable, perfectly sweet, and perfect tasting white corn, that is so tender you can practically eat it raw right off the stalk straight after picking it. But... it's a bit early yet so we make do with what we have access to, especially after not having had a good, local fresh corn on the cob since last summer! Well, at least until Silver Queen comes in. Though it's not quite the same, well-drained canned or frozen corn can also be substituted in this recipe - 3/4 cup of kernels is roughly equal to 1 ear.

Recipe: Southern Fried Corn

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 10-12 ears of corn, shucked, stripped and scraped
  • 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Up to 1/2 cup of whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream, optional
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, only if needed (taste first!)
  • Parsley, to garnish, optional

Cook the bacon to crisp; remove, chop and set aside, reserving the bacon drippings in the skillet.  While that is cooking, clean the corn, except remove on the tops of the corn kernels.  Then, using the blunt side of the knife, scrape the remaining pulp and milk from the cob.  Sprinkle the kernels with the sugar; stir and set aside. 

In the same skillet that you fried the bacon in, add all of the butter to the bacon drippings and melt over medium heat. Add all of the corn, pulp and juices, and about 1/2 tablespoon of the cream.  Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often, and adding just a splash of cream as the corn begins to dry, just enough to keep the corn just lightly moist.  Continue cooking, stirring and turning the corn occasionally, adding cream as needed, for roughly 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Turn the heat up to medium high and fry the corn until the corn begins to brown.

Transfer corn to a serving dish, crumble bacon on top and sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Makes about 4 cups.

Cook's Note: Substitute well-drained canned or frozen corn in this recipe - 3/4 cup of kernels is roughly equal to 1 ear. Allow frozen corn to thaw slightly before using it. Reduce the cooking time as you will not need to cook the corn as long if it is frozen or canned.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

How to Cook Corn on the Cob & Some Compound Butter Blends
How to Strip Corn Off of the Cob
Corn Spoon Bread

Posted by on June 3, 2010
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  1. Hey, where's the Slap Yo Mama??? This sounds like a heart attack but what a way to go. Corn won't be on here in Utah for months but when it is this is goin' on the table for sure.

  2. Oh yum. I love anything with a bit of bacon in it. This looks delicious!

  3. When I was growing up, the only good way to eat corn was off the cob after boiling (my opinion of course). Then I moved to the South and married a local girl, who's favorite way to eat corn was fried - and I loved it - may be my new favorite.

  4. I love corn and it is a great season to enjoy corn right now. Your fried corn looks wonderful. My mom used to fry frozen corn sometimes and I used to eat them with some rice. I loved it!
    Yours sounds and look delicious especially with some bacon!!!

  5. Girlfriend, I faithfully read your blog every day and I gotta tell you - you're killing me!!!! I started Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago and DAMN your beautiful food makes me want to chunk it and head straight for the kitchen. I won't though - at least not today!


  6. LOL Bev - I actually don't use Slap Ya Mama on EVERYTHING!! ;) Oh, and you don't have to use the bacon at all of course.

    Thanks Julie!

    Me too Steph - you just can't beat fresh corn.

    Hey Larry! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE boiled corn on the cob with salt and butter - my most favorite way to eat it really - but this is a nice treat occasionally. Glad you were introduced to it!

    Mausi, great with rice!

    Kim, oh, I so understand. WW is great way to get balance back in your life - I am a card carrying member myself, however, THEN I decided to blog about southern food and well.... For my readers though, it's nice to treat yourself every once in awhile.

  7. Oh man, this looks amazing! I can't wait for local corn up here in Boston, but we still have a few weeks to go yet. I am saving this recipe though!

  8. This looks really good. I have a chowder recipe that is made with fried corn and a quick corn saute but nothing like your dish. I've bookmarked this. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  9. Hi Mary,

    Off topic, for this post....I could have sworn you had a recipe here for stuffed pepper soup? I cannot find it...

  10. I haven't had real Silver Queen in a few years. I was spoiled growing up because my Grandmother grew it on her farm.

    To me, "fried corn" actually is fried on the cob, a great treat. But I love your version too!

  11. This recipe is perfect! The only thing missing is the black iron skillet. Its a must.

    Thank you!

  12. This is the best corn I have ever had! I didn't have fresh corn (I'm sure it would have been better) so I used canned. It tastes like candy! Everyone loved it!

    1. I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it - thanks for letting me know!

  13. this looks so good me and my hubby are whipping some right now thanks for the recipe

  14. My grandmother used to make fried corn using bacon grease but she passed away before I could get the recipe. I am going to try this! Thanks!

  15. Girrrl, I can tell you know your stuff! Just like Mama's. Except, I think she added a little flour just to thicken it used "streak-o-lean" or fatback bacon. ,you know what you're doing and know your way around a southern kitchen. Thanks!

  16. this sounds yummy, will have to try. Just made fried green beans (with bacon and butter) and they turned out yummy. I'm thinking fried is the way to go for all the veggies. lol - my dr would probably disagree

    1. I think we'll be alright so long as we don't fry at every meal!

  17. This was one of my best dishes. It came out fantastic! I didnt use the bacon grease because my one sister is a vegeterian, but even without it, it was the bomb! I am now going to make this for all family bbq's this summer. I am going to be the star of the cookout with my fried corn. (And its not nearly as hard to do as they'll think. But I'll let them think I slaved over it all day!) :) Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    Buffalo, NY

    1. Exactly Jaymelue - you should not give away how easy this is! You're welcome & thank you so much for taking the time to come back by and let me know you enjoyed it. I really appreciate that!

  18. I made this tonight and it was super delicious! My family loved it. I didnt use anytype of bacon because one of my sisters is vegetarian. But even without it, it turned out great. My sister couldnt stopped eating it and raving about it. It will now be my go to dish at the next family cook out. They are going to love it!(and think I slaved over the stove all day long when its really a pretty easy recipe) LOVE IT!! Thanks!

  19. When I was young and lived on the farm, we had corn on the cob for supper. What boiled corn that was left over, was cut off the cob and fried in bacon grease for breakfast the next morning....really good!

  20. Bein from the south our food usually revolves around butter and bacon grease!! Lol..this recipe sounds amazing..trying tonite!

    1. It's because they are so flavorful & yummy!! I hope you enjoy the corn - please let me know what you think.

  21. my boyfriend, just made me this and said it was something he has been making for years, it was the first time i tried it and I love, love loved it. I said i don't plan on it but if i was ever on death row, I would definitely list this as part of my last meal... Loved it

    1. I think I'd have to be with you on that Laurie! So glad that you enjoyed it!!

  22. Isn't it funny about "family rules" and traditions particular to your own relatives. In our family "creamed" corn had butter and sugar and was made with fresh sweet corn _ "fried" corn was made with salt and bacon grease, NO sugar allowed, and used the starchy field corn variety. lol But your site is my favorite for recipes ! Keep posting !


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