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    Recipes for corn casseroles

    The last bites of summer taste best straight from the oven.

    Photo by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty
    Serve baked corn casserole at a backyard barbecue. It’s great with hot dogs.

    TIP Break corncobs in half before cutting the kernels off; they’re more stable than whole ears.

    BAKED CORN WITH PARMESAN AND BASIL

    Serves 6 as a side dish 

    3½ tablespoons butter

    ½ tablespoon oil

    8 medium ears corn, kernels cut off (about 9 cups)

    1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

    Salt and pepper

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    3½ tablespoons flour

    1cups milk (not skim)

    Pinch cayenne

    ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

    ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus a sprig for garnish

    With the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat, heat ½ tablespoon butter and the oil until butter melts. Add the corn and cook, stirring, until color deepens a shade, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

    Add the remaining butter to the pan and melt over medium heat, then saute the onion and ½ teaspoon salt until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the flour and, stirring constantly, cook until light gold, about 1½ minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes longer. Off heat stir in the Parmesan, then fold in the corn and chopped basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

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    Spread the mixture into an even layer and bake until the top is spotty brown and the edges are bubbly, about 35 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes, garnish with the basil sprig, and serve.

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     Variations

    BAKED CORN WITH GOAT CHEESE

    Follow the first recipe, making the following changes:

    1) Increase the garlic to 4 cloves, omit the cayenne and basil, and decrease the grated Parmesan to cup.

    2) Along with the Parmesan add ¾ cup crumbled fresh goat cheese.

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    3) Substitute cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, mint, chives, oregano, thyme, scallion greens, or celery leaves) for the basil, reserving about 2 teaspoons for garnish. 

    BAKED CORN WITH CHORIZO AND RED PEPPER

    Follow the first recipe, making the following changes:

    1) Decrease the quantity of corn to 6 ears, the butter to 2½ tablespoons, and the grated Parmesan to cup. Increase the oil to 1 tablespoon (using ½ tablespoon to cook the corn), the garlic to 4 cloves, and the cayenne to 1/8 teaspoon. Omit the basil.

    2) Before cooking the onion, heat remaining ½ tablespoon oil over medium-high until shimmering and cook 3 small chorizo (chopped if fully cooked, or squeezed out of its casing if fresh) until lightly browned. Drain on paper towel and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan, add remaining butter over medium heat, and cook the onion as directed, adding 1 chopped red bell pepper.

    3) Return the chorizo to the pan with the corn.

    BAKED CORN WITH MUSHROOMS AND BACON

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    Follow the first recipe, making the following changes:

    1) Decrease the quantity of corn to 6 ears, the butter to 2½ tablespoons, and the grated Parmesan to cup, and substitute ¼ cup chopped parsley for the basil.

    2) Before cooking the onion, cook 6 slices bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan, add remaining butter over medium heat, and saute 1½ pounds sliced mushrooms until lightly browned, about 8 minutes, adding the onions about halfway through the cooking time.

    3) Crumble the bacon and return to the pan with the corn.

    BAKED CORN WITH SALMON AND LEEKS

    The generous quantity of salmon turns this into a main dish.

    Follow the first recipe, making the following changes:

    1) Decrease the quantity of corn to 6 ears and the grated Parmesan to cup. Increase the garlic to 4 cloves and substitute ¼ cup snipped chives for the basil.

    2) Substitute 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts cut into 1-inch half-moons, for the onion and saute about 5 minutes. Along with the garlic add 1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme.

    3) Along with the corn add 1½ pounds skinned salmon fillet cut into 1½-inch chunks and sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste, and most of the chives. Sprinkle the finished dish with the remaining chives.

     Send comments to cooking@globe.com.