Episode 109: Thanksgiving Comes Early
Smoked Creamed CornSteven Raichlen
The contrast of flavors and textures – sweet and smoky, creamy and crunchy – will come as a revelation. Smoked corn kernels are one of my secret ingredients. I add them to sauces, salads, and soups. They really add a great sweet smoke flavor. Smoking the corn adds a sweet, caramel-like flavor to this side dish.
This is a dish you can make even if you don’t have an outdoor smoker. Use a stovetop smoker with maple sawdust.
More Smoked Side Dish Recipes:
Smoked Creamed Corn
- Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish
- Method: Stovetop smoking
- Equipment: Camerons Stovetop Smoker; sawdust or small wood chips
- 4 ears of corn, shucked
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered (leave the root end attached)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups half and half, light cream, or, gasp, heavy cream
- 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar or granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 6 ounces grated cheddar or pepper Jack cheese (1 1/2 cups; optional)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Step 1: Set up the stovetop smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 2: Lightly brush the corn and onion pieces with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Smoke the corn and onions on the stovetop smoker until darkly browned on all sides, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the corn and onions to a platter and let cool. The recipe can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead to this stage.
Step 3: Cut the corn kernels off the cobs. The easiest way to do this is to lay the cobs flat on the cutting board and cut off the kernels with broad strokes of a chef’s knife. You should have about 3 cups. Scrape any burnt skin off the onions, trim off the root ends, and finely chop. Set the corn and onions aside.
Step 4: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the poblano and jalapeño peppers and sauté until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the peppers and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Whisk in the half and half and sugar. Bring to a boil. Stir in the corn and onions. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the mixture is thick and richly flavored, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste: the creamed corn should be highly seasoned. Transfer the creamed corn to a serving bowl and garnish with a whisper of grated nutmeg.