Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Roasted Corn Dip

There are few appetizers in my arsenal that are not only my particular favorites but ones my family or friends request again and again as well. This is one of them….roasted corn dip. It’s variation of Emeril Lagasse’s Fire Roasted Corn Dip – but I don’t always fire roast the corn and I changed up a few ingredients too, so I simply call mine – roasted corn dip.

Now, when I was young, corn wasn’t to be on or in anything ‘cept a cob or my mouth! It couldn’t be creamed and it couldn’t touch anything else on my plate. Funny – as an adult I now love corn in just about anything! I will say I pretty much gotta have sweet white corn as opposed to yellow. I love the crisp bite to the little, white kernels...yellow corn seems big and chewy to me!

This dip is creamy and the sweet taste of the corn comes through the gentle spice of the peppers and jalapeno – but it’s the garlic that makes it sing. It’s not a ‘garlicky’ dish at all….but the combination of all thee flavors together with the cheese and the sweet and the heat is just darn near prefect. There’s never any left when I make it for a party. Key to a successful corn dip is in the details….make a nice, fine dice on your veggies. Nothing I dice is any bigger than the kernels of corn into which they’re mixed – most of them are smaller. This allows a prefect marriage of flavors in your mouth rather than a big ol’ chunk of pepper and only three corn kernels. Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? I mean…if you’re gonna make something delicious – why not make it as delicious as it can be??
So – we start with veggies – these are the bigs – and you’ll need about ½ of each one shown as well as the name sake ingredient….
…..Super Sweet White Corn! Now like I said, I don’t always fire roast in which case I do use the corn shown above. Come corn season though, I’m all about getting the corn onto the hot grill to pick up some nice fire roasted flavor. Since I can’t wait for corn season to have this addictive & savory snack, a bag’ll do just fine.
Get all your peppers diced – you can use a yellow in place of the orange if you want…..
…then try not to cry when you finely dice up that ½ onion.
This is one whole jalapeno pepper, seeded, matchsticked and VERY finely diced. You want it’s flavor throughout so dice it super small so it gets well distributed throughout the dish.
We add in sliced green onions into the mixture as well as a few on top of it.
I ask you – is there any better food than cheese? Jack melts beautifully – you’ll need about 12 oz. total – 8 to mix in and 4 for the top.
And of course – the garlic. Mince or press about 4 large cloves so you have a good, fat tablespoonful.
Add 1 T of butter to a hot skillet and pour in the corn. I like to make ‘holes’ in the corn ‘mass’ so heat gets through so it doesn’t just steam in the pan. Leave the corn to roast for a few minutes at a time and then stir. If you stir it the whole time, it won’t get any caramely colors to it ands won’t be as yum-tastic!
See? It’s getting there! I don’t wait for every kernel to get the golden brown color – but want a very good amount of them to be. Once it’s reached the desired ‘roastedness’, I empty the corn into a large bowl to wait while I finish cooking up the other veggies.
Next up, put the peppers (not the jalapeno) and onion in the hot pan. Add salt and pepper and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
Mmmm....it’s all hot and steamy and smelling good! Steam doesn’t make for such a good picture though!
After two minutes, add the corn back to the pan and season with salt and pepper once again. Stir until combined…..
….then put the jalapeno and garlic in! OMG give this a good stir and you will immediately know what I meant about the garlic just ‘making’ this dish. The smell is unbelievable! Cook the mixture another 2 minutes, then transfer the lot of it to a large bowl to cool just a bit – maybe 20 minutes or so.
Once the mixture has cooled a little, stir in ¾ of the green onions and the mayo.
After those are well combined, add in ¾ of the cheese and mix well.
Spread in a casserole dish – size is sort of up to you… This is a Pampered Chef oval stoneware pan – it’s about the equivalent of a 9x13, but oval. I’ve used a big, round corningware dish as well and a dish a bit smaller so the dip was a bit thicker – but the above dish is my fave to use. The stoneware keeps it piping hot too – awesome. I think an 8x11 rectangle would be really close to this if you’re using a rectangle pan. Craaaapp….for something totally uncomplicated I’m making it way too complicated! Just use yer fave shallow-ish casserole dish!
Top with the remaining cheese and green onions. At this point, you can put it in the oven or, if you’re going to bake it within an hour or two, just cover it and leave it on the counter – no point in chilling it, making it take longer once you do bake it. If you won’t be needing it for several hours, cover it, chill it, then remove from the oven a good hour before baking. Bake at 350-degrees for 25 minutes if not chilled – or approx 50 minutes of it is chilled. The top should be golden and bubbly and the center should be good-n-hot (stick a knife in the center then feel the blade between your thumb and forefinger).
And Presto! Not only is it bubblin’ hot but the dish changed color and size as well! Okay –here’s the deal…I made the dish in all the prep pics a week ago but because guests were already at my house when it came out of the oven, I put it out onto the counter without taking a picture of the finished product! Oops! So, when the hubs had a friend to dinner this past Sunday (he brought the fresh-caught salmon in the dinner pic with the spicy green beans), I used the rest of the peppers and a smaller bag of corn to make a slightly smaller version of the original – and that’s it abov
Yum – hot and full of flavor……….That sweet corn with the peppers and garlic….OMG………
This dish is a home run – heck, you could probably eat is as an actual corn side dish and forget about scooping it up with chips! It takes a fair amount of dicing prep – but it’s SO worth it. Enjoy!
Roasted Corn Dip
1 regular-sized bag frozen super sweet white corn
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper (pinches here and there to taste)
1/2 medium/large onion – finely diced
1/2 red, yellow and green bell pepper diced small
1 medium jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced very fine
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
12 oz grated Monterey Jack Cheese
4 finely sliced green onions

Heat a large skillet to high heat and melt 1 T of butter then add frozen corn. Allow corn to cook between stirrings to caramelize and turn golden on most kernels – about 7 minutes. Remove from pan to large mixing bowl. Add the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the corn back in and continue to sauté for 2 minutes – season with a little more salt and pepper. Add the jalapenos and garlic. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool slightly, turning the mixture into the large mixing bowl. Once cooled a bit, stir in the mayonnaise and 3/4 of the cheese. Mix well. Stir in the ¾ of the green onions. Season with salt and pepper once again if necessary. Pour the mixture into a 6 cup oven-proof oval baking dish. Spread evenly and top with the remaining cheese and green onions. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until bubbly (if you chill it after making it rather than putting it right into the oven, cook for approx 40 - 50 minutes)
Serve hot with tortilla chips

1 comment:

*****COSKI NATION***** said...

what is a regular sized bag of corn? trying to make this using our home grown corn!