Hot food: Creamed corn

Creamed corn Photo: Edwina Pickles Creamed corn. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Nanjing Night Net

Don’t throw out your kernel-free cobs, use them in this dish. Photo: Edwina Pickles

What is it?

It’s that sweet, creamy corn mush that comes in a can, right? Nope. These days, it’s made from scratch using summer’s sweet, fresh corn, stock and cream. Originally hailing from the southern and midwest states of America, it’s appearing on toast at cafes, with scallops as entrees, and with barbecued, smoked meats.Where is it?

At Melbourne’s Small Victories cafe, chef Alric Hansen cooks down sweet onions and butter, adds fresh corn kernels and cream, and serves it in an earthenware dish topped with two eggs, thyme salt, and a soldier of toast dipped in bacon fat and wrapped in lardo.

”People love the sweetness,” he says. His advice to would-be creamed corn cooks is to ”do it nice and slow, and use a lot of butter”.

Newcastle’s popular Three Bean Espresso does an awesome creamed corn on sourdough toast, topped with poached eggs and slab bacon. Owner Ben Armstrong says, ”It’s friendly, approachable, and, for people like me whose grandmother used to cook sweetcorn jaffles, nostalgic.”

Sydney’s funky Four Ate Five cafe in Surry Hills sells more than 100 dishes of creamed corn on toast with poached eggs and crisp bacon on a busy weekend. ”Every batch we make is different in terms of consistency and flavour,” manager Lucas Viselli says. ”It’s not so much a mechanistic exercise in cooking as an artistic one.”Why do I care?

Because it’s sweet, fresh and mouthwatering. And because the leftovers make a great jaffle with ham or bacon.Can I do it at home?

Yes. It’s brilliant for brekkie or brunch, or as a meal with crisp-skinned salmon or chicken.Creamed corn on toast

Don’t toss corn cobs out – make a quick stock from them instead (otherwise, use chicken, or vegetable stock, or water).

5 corn cobs, husks and silk removed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

½ an onion, finely diced

sea salt and pepper

75ml cream

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

4 slices smoked or cured salmon

1 lemon, cut into wedges

 

1. Holding each cob vertically, use a sharp knife to shear off the corn kernels. Use a strong spoon to scrape again, getting the pulp and the milky juices as well.

2. Cover the cobs with 500 millilitres of boiling water, add salt and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve the corn broth to use as a stock.

3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frypan, and cook the onion for five to 10 minutes until soft but still pale.

4. Add the corn, sea salt and pepper, and 400 millilitres of stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.

5. Blend one third of the corn in a blender and return it to the pan.

6. Add the cream, sea salt, pepper, paprika and parsley and cook for five minutes, stirring.

7. Serve with smoked salmon, lemon and extra herbs, such as basil and parsley.

Serves 4Sourcing

NSW

Four Ate Five, 485 Crown Street, Surry Hills, 9698 6485; Three Bean Espresso, 103 Tudor Street, Hamilton, Newcastle, 4961 2020.

VICTORIA

Small Victories, 617 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, 03 9347 4064

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