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08/28/2014

~ Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy, Chile, Creamed-Corn Dip ~

IMG_2425Newsflash.  Depending on the search words you use, as of this morning there are over one million recipes for corn dip, cheesy corn dip and Mexican-syle corn dip for you to choose from on the internet.  Some are published by bloggers like myself, others by celebrity chefs, and even more by scads of manufacturers like Kraft, Green Giant, Old El Paso and Tostitos (to name a few).  Most are really easy and all are guaranteed to make your game-day tailgate a success. One more thing -- they're all pretty darn good -- just not as good or as special as mine.

The secret is my corn:  My homemade creamed corn.

IMG_2399Generic recipes all use canned whole-kernel corn, with frozen corn kernels coming in a close second.  Recipes that "kick it up a notch" do use fresh corn kernels (kernels that have been shaved from cooked or grilled cobs), which improves the end result dramatically, but, past that, in my opinion, they all go awry (amiss, astray, off-course).  Why?  They rely on  cream cheese, sour cream or mayonnaise to give the corn its creaminess.  This works, but, the tanginess changes the entire profile of the recipe.  Most times, the only way you know it contains corn is because you can see the kernels -- the flavor is drowning in a sea of tangy cheesy goodness.  

IMG_2128To me, corn dip prepared in the above manner is equivalent to tacos or fajitas prepared using a seasoning packet rather than making the seasoning.  Sorry to rain on your parade, I tell it like it is.

Meet my recipe for ~ Country-Style Downhome-Delicious Creamed-Corn ~.  Click on the Related Article link below to get the recipe.  

 ~ Step 1.  Make my creamed corn. Do not complain via e-mail or comment on this blog that my corn dip recipe didn't work if you substituted canned creamed corn. Canned creamed corn won't work.

Meet the ingredients list:  My corn & grated Monterey Jack cheddar w/jalapeno chiles.

IMG_2192For every 1-cup ramekin filled to the top you will need (each ramekin serves 2):

1 1/4 cups creamed corn, my recipe, at room temperature

1/4  cup grated Monterey Jack cheddar cheese, preferably with jalapeno chile peppers, for stirring into above creamed corn mixture

2 additional tablespoons grated Monterey Jack cheddar cheese, for topping each ramekin/serving

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing ramekins

diced tomatoes and thinly-sliced green onion tops, for garnish

IMG_2296 IMG_2291~ Step 2.  In a small bowl, using an ordinary tablespoon, combine my creamed corn with the grated cheese.  Do not mash or smash it. Just "smoosh" it.  Less is more.

Note:  Spray 1-cup sized ramekins with no-stick cooking spray.  How many?  That depends on how much of my creamed corn you have.

Note:  I like to make this dip in ramekins because they cook up beautifully.  Feel free to make a larger quantity in one baking dish, but, to insure even cooking through to the center, the larger the container, the shallower it should be, and, it needs to be sized so the mixture fills it almost to the top.  For instance, 6 cups of the corn/cheese mixture fits nicely into a 1 quart souffle dish.

IMG_2305 IMG_2297~ Step 3. Spoon the corn/cheese mixture into each ramekin.  Do not pack it, just lightly spoon it in, mounding it slightly towards the center, making no attempt to make it look any prettier than that.  Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespons of cheese evenly over the top.

Note:  No matter how big or how small your ramekin or souffle dish, this is how it should look before going into the oven.

IMG_2323~ Step 4.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheese on the top is melted and the corn mixture is just starting to bubble over the sides.  This is a spoonable dip, not a forkable casserole, don't dry it out by over cooking/browning.

Note:  When I bake several 1-cup sized ramekins, I place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  This makes it easy to place several into and remove them from the oven all at once.  It helps with any random drippy messes too.

Remove from oven and serve hot, garnished with tomatoes, onions...

IMG_2427... and some freshly-fried corn tortilla chips.  Game on:

IMG_2481Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy, Chile, Creamed Corn Dip:  Recipe yields as much dip as you choose to make, however, 1 full recipe of my creamed corn is enough to fill 3, 1-cup ramekins to the top. This yields 6 servings with each ramekin serving 2.

Special Equipment List: medium bowl; spoon; 1-cup ramekins or appropriatly-sized souffle dish; baking pan; parchment paper

6a0120a8551282970b019aff7d96cb970b-800wiCook's Note:  There is only one way to serve this dip and that is with ~ Deep-Fried & Crispy Corn Tortilla Chips (Totopos) ~.  Make a big batch too as they are great snacking for a day or two afterward. You can get my recipe by clicking into Categories 2, 13 or 17.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)

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