Southern Fried Corn
I'm not entirely sure why this is always on our winter holiday tables, since corn is such a summer dish. Perhaps it's because Southerners put up canned corn like crazy in summer, when we can't pick it fast enough. Our favorite ways with fresh corn are to barely steam it and eat it right from the cob - but this dish I think actually tastes better when it's made with canned corn. And honestly now commercially canned corn is of such high quality that this dish is pretty vittleicious year-round. Just don't try it with 'fresh' corn out of season - better to use good canned or frozen than the tasteless stuff that was picked days back and half a world away.
It's also beautiful - I love the smokey bit of bacon with the white onion, beautiful yellow corn (don't use white corn) and the pretty sweet red bits of pepper. It just says 'festive'. It's also about as delicious as anything I know how to cook. I've successfully converted several non-Southern foodies over to the bacon-grease side with this little beauty. One taste of that rich, creamy bacon-laced, sunshiny pop of goodness and knees buckle, eyes roll back, and occasionally a tic develops around the eyes.
If you've got a great cast iron skillet - go ahead and serve it in that. It's also traditionally known as skillet fried corn, and looks wonderful on casual tables that way. But don't be afraid of breaking out your Granny's pretty china serving bowl - the colors are gorgeous no matter how it's served. And with just a handful of ingredients, this one is super easy. Crisp up the bacon ahead of time, and it takes just minutes to toss together when you're ready.
- 1 pound bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (16 ounce) packages frozen or canned yellow corn
- 1/4 cup cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Saute bacon over medium heat in a large skillet until crispy, and fat is rendered. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain all but a tablespoon of the bacon grease from the skillet.
- Saute onion and peppers in the same skillet, for about 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are becoming transluscent and the onion is fragrant, but none are overcooked.
- Add corn to onion and peppers, and cook until tender. I only give mine about 5-10 minutes on the heat. I like the vegetables tender, but not overcooked. I think corn can get mushy and icky too fast when overcooked. Of coure this is a good excuse to 'taste' and make sure - sneaky bits are always the cook's perogative.
- Add cream and stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. This dish loves a good bit of black pepper. Right before serving, stir in the reserved bacon.
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