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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Sweet and picante meet again with Michael Mina's succulent side dish.

The corn brings an earthy sweetness and richness from the “creamy” texture we get from grating, while the jalapeños balance the dish with a fresh, watery burst of spice that cuts through the richness of the dish. When eaten as part of our meal, the soft, creamy corn has enough body and texture to stand up to the scallop’s crunchy chorizo crust.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Grab your grater. As Michael explains to Michelle Branch, grating the corn – instead of cutting it from the cob – exposes the starch that is suspended in the liquid of each kernel. By cooking the grated corn slowly, this starch thickens the mixture. The resulting consistency is reminiscent of corn pudding.
  2. Take it slow. For creamed corn perfection, keep the heat low. Cranking up the heat can cause the starch, liquid and fat in the mixture to separate, which would leave the finished dish greasy and uneven.
  3. Some like it not-so-hot. Since jalapeños can vary greatly in spiciness, you should always taste a tiny piece of each raw pepper to determine how much you want to add to the dish.
  4. Timing is everything. To imbue this creamed corn – or whatever veggie you’ve got on the stovetop – with a supple, silken quality, take the dish off the heat and add the butter at the last minute. A coating of freshly melted butter lends a touch of elegance that you won’t get if you stir in the butter while the dish is still cooking.

 

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Box grater. When creating a pulp for creamed corn, a box grater is the ideal tool. The grater removes all the liquid and starch inside each kernel and leaves the toughest part of the kernel on the cob.
  2. Latex gloves. The juice of spicy chilies can leave your fingers tingling for hours. (And if you accidently rub your eyes with tingling fingers, you’ll really feel the burn!) Reduce the risk of getting chili juice on your skin by wearing gloves whenever you’re handling hot peppers.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Medium high-sided sauté pan
Box grater

Small baking sheet with rack and wax paper

Rubber spatula
Knife
Cutting board
Small pot
Wax paper
Scissors
Latex gloves


Ingredients
  • 3 small jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, cut into ⅛-inch dice
  • 8 ears corn, husk and silk removed and discarded
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Serves: 4

Total time: 40 minutes

Active time: 30 minutes

Method
  1. Cut the ends off the jalapeños. Using a paring knife, cut them in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Cut them into 1/8-inch dice. Remember to wash hands thoroughly after handling the chiles. If you’re sensitive to chiles, try wearing rubber gloves.
  2. Break 4 of the ears of corn in half. Hold a box grater over a plate and grate the kernels off the cobs. Set aside pulp.
  3. Using a knife, cut the kernels off the remaining 4 ears of corn. Set kernels aside. Save two of the scraped ears for the chorizo vinaigrette.
  4. Set a large sauté pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the corn kernels that were cut off the cob. Season with salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add the diced jalapeños and bay leaf. Sauté over medium heat until the jalapeño is translucent and the corn is soft, about 3 minutes. If necessary, add water 2 tablespoons at a time during cooking to keep the mixture from sticking.
  5. Add the grated corn and cook, turn down the heat, and stir continuously with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens. You can tell that the corn has thickened enough when a line drawn down the middle of the pan stays clean and the mixture doesn’t run. It will take about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the stove off.
  6. Fold the remaining butter into the mixture using a rubber spatula. At this point, it is important not to let the mixture boil – this would cause it to separate.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a small pot and cover the top with a piece of wax paper. This will prevent a skin from forming on the top. Hold warm until ready to serve.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Grilled pork sausage with jalapeño-creamed corn & sautéed greens

For a dish with a kick, grill a fresh spicy pork sausage and serve it with the jalapeño-creamed corn & sautéed greens

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