Thursday, June 3, 2010

Iron Skillet Southern Fried Corn

Fresh corn, bi-color shown here, is stripped from the cob, then fried in bacon drippings and butter, and finished with a little cream.

Iron Skillet 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 Style Hissy Fit Warning:} Southern cooks, we are a peculiar group of folks 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. Most of us do things the way that our mamas did things and for us, that is the right way. Don't give you no right to try and tell others what they do is wrong, when they probably do it the way their mamas did!

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!

Other folks might try to tell you that you can't make fried corn with anything but white corn. Some would also say that the only southern fried corn is made with the Silver Queen variety (though others would argue that she's been a bit dethroned by newer varieties). Please.

There are many delectable, perfectly sweet, and perfect tasting white, yellow and bicolor corn varieties available now, many so tender you can practically eat it raw right off the stalk straight after picking it. So make this fried corn with whatever good corn you have access to and don't you let anybody tell you otherwise. I use whatever is fresh and available, and that my friends is all that matters.

Bottom Line. The only right way, is the way that makes you happy. Please for all that is holy, stop trying to tell other people what to do in their kitchen.{tucks away soapbox}

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 and salty flavor.

Take care not to overcook it and toughen your corn, and go easy on extra salt, which is one reason you don't see my favorite Cajun seasoning here. 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.

Though it's not quite the same, well-drained canned or frozen corn may also be substituted in this recipe - 3/4 cup of kernels is roughly equal to 1 average ear.

Recipe: Iron Skillet Southern Fried Corn

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 10-12 ears of white, yellow or bi-color corn on the cob, 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!)
  • Fresh herbs, such as parsley, to garnish, optional

In a large cast iron skillet, chop bacon and cook to crisp; remove and set aside, reserving the drippings in the skillet. While that is cooking, clean the corn, except remove only 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 tablespoon of the cream. Continue cooking over medium low heat, stirring often and adding additional cream as the corn begins to dry, just enough to keep the corn slightly moist. Reduce to low and cook about 30 minutes, or until corn is tender. Add pepper and half of the bacon; taste and adjust for salt only as needed. Transfer corn to serving dish, crumble remaining bacon on top and sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Recipe may easily be halved.

Cook's Notes: Turn heat up to medium high at the end to brown, if desired. Substitute well-drained canned or frozen corn when fresh is out of season - 3/4 cup of kernels is roughly equal to 1 ear. Allow frozen corn to thaw slightly before using it and for canned or frozen, cook only until corn is heated through well.

Fiesta Corn: Prepare as above, except add 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion and 1/4 cup each green and red bell pepper with the bacon drippings. Omit milk/cream and add 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder and cumin.


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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

How to Cook Corn on the Cob,
~ including Compound Butter Blends

How to Strip Corn Off of the Cob
Corn Spoon Bread

Posted by on June 3, 2010
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