The first ears of corn appeared at the beginning of this month coinciding with the arrival of summer’s backyard barbeques, pool parties, and great summer foods. To celebrate summer I thought I’d share a summer recipe that was a staple in my childhood home—Fried Corn.
“What?” you ask. “Who would fry corn? Don’t you boil it on the stove or grill in the husk for a summer treat?”
You can, but if your mom came from the hills of Kentucky, like mine did, fresh corn was also served up fried in bacon grease. And as any lover of bacon can tell you, everything tastes better with bacon.
This recipe isn’t quick, but it’s well worth the effort. Frying corn brings out the vegetable’s sweetness, and the combination of the bacon gives it a savory taste. Sweet and savory—the best of both culinary worlds, in my humble opinion. Fried corn goes great with hamburgers, hot dogs, barbequed chicken and just about any other meat you can think of. It’s also a good leftover breakfast food served with sausage and fresh tomatoes, although there were never any leftovers at our house.
Here’s what you need to make this Appalachian treat.
- 10 ears of fresh corn on the cob, to make 2 cups of cut fresh corn. Corn should be just beyond the corn-on-the cob stage, yet be milky when you pierce a kernel with your fingernail.
- ½ cup of bacon drippings. This makes the best fried corn. Or you can use ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup bacon drippings; or just oil, if you must. Not using bacon drippings will significantly change the flavor. Do no use margarine as it will make the corn burn easily.
- ½ cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 slices of thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Cook the six slices of bacon until crispy.
- While the bacon is cooling, shuck the corn. Remove all the silks under running water with a vegetable brush.
- Using a large bowl to catch the corn, cut the top of the corn kernel with a sharp knife, barely cutting off the kernels. This is called “capping.” Some country cooks “cap” the corn by cutting toward themselves. I prefer to put the corn cob into the bowl and slice down. I find it’s less messy that way.
- Once the corn has been “capped” all around the cob, remove another layer, scraping the cob down as you go. This removes the rest of the kernel from the cob and some of the corn’s juices.
- Mix the ½ cup of water with the corn until well combined, and season to taste with the salt and pepper.
- Heat ¼ cup bacon drippings (or whichever combination of oil and drippings you choose) in a skillet until a drop of water “dances” in the oil.
- Quickly pour all the corn into the hot skillet. Do not put in a spoonful at a time or the corn will splatter.
- Cook the corn, slowly and uncovered, over medium heat. Do not stir until a brown crust forms on the bottom. Turn with a spatula.
- Crisp up the other side a bit and serve with the crumbled bacon on top.
This dish is traditionally cooked using a cast iron skillet, but stainless steel works, too. If you use a cast iron skillet the corn will brown more slowly. Also, do not use the same skillet that you cooked your bacon in to brown the corn, unless you’ve washed it, because the corn will stick to the skillet.
If you have leftover fried corn, add about ¼ cup of water to the corn and pour it into a well-greased casserole dish for a later meal.
If you do not use all the fresh corn you’ve prepared, you can put it into a tightly sealed container, store it in the refrigerator and use by the third day.
Have you ever eaten fried corn?
After all the work you’ve done cutting the corn off the cob, you deserve a break. Take it by reading Catherine’s award-winning romantic comedy with a touch of drama A Groom for Mama. Lots of disastrous dates in this book, as well as some tasty dinner dates. No fried corn, though.
A Groom for Mama
By Catherine Castle
Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.
The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.
A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.
About the Author:
Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.