Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dried Corn Baked with Cheese & Cream

One of the great things to do with a food drier, if you have one, is to dry sweet corn when it is in season. You cut it off the cob, pour boiling water over it and drain it well, then dry it. You will likely need some sort of loose-weave cloth to keep it from falling through the racks. We cut up a nylon mesh laundry bag we bought once many years ago and which was never used for its intended purpose. It worked very well, and once the corn was dried we just put the squares of cloth in the dishwasher. It's a bit late to be telling you all this, I suppose.

We dried quite a lot of corn this summer and I am now looking for ways to use it. We liked this, but why wouldn't we? It's quite rich and cheesy, and the corn retains a little bit of chewiness that makes it very appealing. I imagine you could make this with frozen or canned corn, though; just skip the soaking part of the recipe and use 4 cups corn. Maybe add a tiny bit more liquid, or maybe expect it to be done in closer to 45 minutes instead.

4 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 15 minutes prep time

Dried Corn Baked with Cheese & Cream
2 cups dried corn
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 cups whole milk or light cream
150 grams (6 ounces) old Cheddar cheese, grated
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the corn in a pot with the water and bring it to a good rolling boil. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Meanwhile, mix the cornmeal, cream and grated cheese in a mixing bowl. When the corn looks pretty much reconstituted, mix it into the cream and cheese, along with any liquid remaining in the pot. Season with salt and pepper, remembering that the cheese will supply a certain amount of salt.

Butter an 8" x 11" casserole (lasagne) dish, and pour in the corn mixture. Spread it out evenly in the dish. It will be pretty soupy, but persevere. Bake for 1 hour, until firm and beginning to brown around the edges. Stir it once, at the half-way point.

Last year at this time I made Tofu "Schnitzel".


Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...

Very close to mamaliga a simple but great dish.
Want to give you a tip, I have been baking my pies exchanging the lard with schmaltz evil.

Ferdzy said...

Maybe; I think the texture will be very different.

I tried making pie with schmalz in the past but it came out very tough... tasty indeed, but tough. Do you have that problem, or do you hae a secret for preventing it?