Friday, December 5, 2014

A Chip Off The Old Blockhead - Corn Casserole

I like science fiction.  All kinds of science fiction - Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate SG-1, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert's Dune, the Marvel universe, Babylon 5, Buckaroo Banzai, Battlestar Galactica (only the reboot), Farscape, and at the top of my list, Doctor Who.  Not surprising, then, that I have the unshakeable belief that I gave birth to this child in another dimension.

Cory and his foster mom

I say this because he is so much like me, that I sometimes forget it was another dear lady who gave birth to him in Seoul, South Korea.  At least that's what happened in this universe, where I spend most of my time.  Cory writes like me - weird, wistful, wordy, full of passion and a touch of righteous indignation.  Like me, he has his low moments, sadness which springs from nowhere but can ruin an otherwise beautiful day.  Like me, he always bounces back.  And he cooks - not just from recipes, but from inspiration.  That is a recent innovation, one with good results, like his smoked salmon flatbread.

Recently, Cory was invited to a potluck pre-Thanksgiving dinner.  After some consultation with his personal cooking guru (me), he decided on making a corn casserole.  The recipe he used was, at my suggestion, off the web from Paula Deen.  Turns out it was different from my corn casserole recipe, but I've never had anything but good luck with Paula's recipes, and this was a very easy version of an old southern standby ("quintessentially southern" is how I referred to it in the November 22, 2014 post.) Cory ran with it (I had to practically handcuff myself, an incurable buttinsky, to the dishwasher to restrain from grabbing the wooden spoon) and did a wonderful job.  The smell in the house was absolutely lovely.

But the next day, my son said to me, "Mom, it was good but I think it could have been better.  I would have liked it a little sweeter."  My brilliant, intuitive son with the well-developed palate had discerned what it had taken me, early in my cooking career, a few years to figure out - corn dishes taste better with a touch of sugar.

So a few days later, the boy has another potluck - I love potlucks, I love this time of year - and he decides to try again, this time with my recipe, which is by no means an original.  I got it from a friend, who got it from his mom, who used to be a First Lady of a certain jurisdiction.  I've made it many times since then, as it goes well with lots of stuff besides turkey.  I particularly like to make it as part of a buffet with chili, beef burritos, chicken enchiladas, and Paula Deen's Savannah red rice. I tweaked it ever-so-slightly, but I just can't help myself.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, place the butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  When the butter is melted, remove immediately from the oven and set aside to cool.

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
2 tall cans of creamed corn
2 cans of sweet corn, drained
2 eggs
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
2 pints sour cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons sugar
shredded cheddar and/or pepper jack cheese, to taste

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Add some of the grated pepper jack cheese into the batter. Turn into the greased pan and bake for about an hour.  The batter will puff up nicely and then become firm, and the top should be golden brown.  Once it's done, remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese.  It will melt on its own.

Cory made one half of this recipe which yielded two small casseroles, one which he brought to his office potluck, and the other which he offered as an addition to our holiday menu.  It was splendid.

Cory and his cookin' cousins 

No comments:

Post a Comment