Creamed Corn with Chipotle Chiles
Naturally sweet summer corn contrasts beautifully with spicy and smoky ingredients, such as the chipotle chilies used here. Rich, silky heavy cream lends a complementary sweetness and pleasing richness to the dish and prevents the spice of the chilies from overwhelming the other ingredients.
- 6 ears of fresh sweet corn, husks and silk removed
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 1 tsp. adobo sauce
- 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the ears of corn in half crosswise. One at a time, stand the halves, flat end down, on a cutting board and cut the kernels from the cob. Transfer the kernels to a bowl. Using the dull edge of the knife, carefully scrape the wet pulp from the corn cobs into the bowl.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, corn kernels with pulp, oregano and sugar. Pour in the water and add a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender but still has a bit of crunch, 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until the water has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the cream to the pan, raise the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer the corn to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano (Oxmoor House, 2008).