Why is it that all children seem to love sweetcorn? Do they just have an inherently sweet tooth from birth? Or maybe it’s their small stature and brightness that make them so appealing. Oh, and the fact they (and by they, I mean the kernels) taste absolutely delicious. I don’t remember having an issue with eating my vegetables as a child, I think I was a distinctly unfussy eater. Isn’t it telling though that I can vividly remember the times when we had sweetcorn for dinner?
I’ve brought this love of sweetcorn into adulthood with me. The first time I had real corn (not frozen or from a can) was when I was 21. I was visiting friends in New Jersey and they were serving sweetcorn for dinner one evening. I didn’t think anything of it – I really love sweetcorn after all. What they served me, however, was unlike any sweetcorn I had ever tasted. They had ‘grilled’ it on the barbeque and slathered it in butter and it was a showstopper! I mean mindblowingly, earth shatteringly good. They were a little surprised as I enthusiastically chowed down, making emphatic noises all the while. So, what did I learn? Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh corn on the cob.
But…….we live in a modern world, where convenience food is king and frozen veg is just a part of everyday life. I’m told (by the advertising companies!) that frozen veg is better than fresh anyway so I can have my (frozen) corn and eat it without the guilt and all the pleasure. I’ll keep telling myself this and maybe someday I’ll believe it! I’ve been making this recipe for years. Long before Nigella Express came out and popularised this wonderfully easy dish I had made it a staple in my own kitchen. So, even if you think you know this recipe, read on friends, read on:)
484g frozen sweetcorn
1 tsp ground cumin
1 chicken stock cube
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper
Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a saucepan. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan with some seasoning. Cover pan and sweat onion for several minutes before adding the cumin. Mix thoroughly and sweat for a few more minutes until the spice has infused.
Boil a kettle of water. Empty the entire contents of a medium bag of frozen sweetcorn into the pan. Mix thoroughly with the onion and cumin. Add water until it just covers the sweetcorn. Remember you can always add water or milk later but too much liquid at this stage and the texture could be ruined.
Add stock cube and allow to dissolve – I don’t like the crumbling kind but they’re fine for this purpose.
Cover pan and bring to a gentle simmer for around 10 minutes. Using a hand blender, blitz the sweetcorn. I do this this several times. You could put it in a blender but frankly this is just more washing up and I also feel the hand blender gives you more control over the consistency. The fewer ‘bits’ the better so keep going until it’s as smooth as you can possibly manage.
Add milk, season, stir and simmer for another 5 mins.
Serve with either chopped flat leaf parsley, some small shrimp, bacon bits or finely sliced spring onion.