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Creamed corn is a side dish that was common in the American Midwest before it became a part of American cuisine in general. It is made with fresh corn kernels and cream or milk. Canned versions are also available.
The basic method of preparing creamed corn is to first make a white sauce by melting butter and adding flour and cream or milk to it. Fresh corn kernels cut from the cob are then added to the sauce mixture. Seasoning is usually just salt and pepper, although some cooks prefer to add herbs such as basil. When the corn kernels simmer in the sauce until tender and cooked through, the side dish is ready to eat. This dish is best served right after it is cooked.
Canned versions of creamed corn don't usually have the fresh taste of the homemade versions. Either type can be served as a side dish or as the base for seafood sauce or corn chowder. Sauteed onions, garlic and mushrooms may be added to creamed corn to make a thick seafood sauce. Potatoes and seafood and/or bacon added to the corn can make a hearty chowder or main dish soup.
There are also many variations to creamed corn used as a side dish. Some cooks like to add onion and bacon while others prefer to include chopped bell peppers. Leeks may also be added. Milk may be used instead of cream, although using light cream is traditional and thought to add a pleasant richness to creamed corn.
A sharp knife tends to make the job of cutting kernels off of the ears of fresh corn easier. It may be necessary to first slice as much of the kernels off of the corn cob as possible before using the knife a second time to remove the remaining kernel portions. Making creamed corn is a great way to help use up an abundance of fresh ears of corn!