The Truth... What is it?

Mike Bailey's Creamed Corn

From Mike: "Every now and then you hit back-to-back home runs when you are cooking. Today (a day late), I bought my farm fresh collard greens and then slowly and with a glass of wine to calm my nerves ... : -) … I stripped them, cut them up, added all my secret ingredients and put them on the stove to slow cook to perfection. God – they were wonderful!

Then I dug up my mother’s [Alma Humpries Bailey of Sumter, Ervin Shaw's mother's lifelong close friend...both nursing careers at Tuomey hospital in Sumter], grandmother’s, and my great grandmother’s 'secret recipe' for '1880 Tombfield Road, Kershaw County, SC Cream Corn!' Oh my God … it came out perfect … I am so ecstatic ... it tasted JUST LIKE I remembered when I grew up on Church Street in Sumter and mama, or grandmother made the 'Cream Corn.'

Deanna sat down with mama about 40 years ago and wrote down the recipe as mama made it. Believe me, what my mama 'said' was the recipe and what was 'actually' the recipe were TWO different things! BTW … Deanna can make it also … to die for … best there is. Part of the secret is how you 'mix (stir and slowly cook) the ingredients.'"

"The recipe for creamed corn is quite simple. However, the true success of this great dish depends on “how” the dish is prepared. There are three secrets to this recipe – cutting, stirring, and, slowly cooking. Taking shortcuts and/or ignoring hints are an absolute guarantee for just average creamed corn -- one that could just as easily been bought already made from your local grocery store. With that said, here are the ingredients: "


8 ears of corn still in husks. White Silver Queen first choice
Yellow varieties also make great creamed corn
4 slices of thick cut bacon or 6 slices of thin cut bacon
2 tbs butter
1 /4 cup floor
1 cup water or evaporated milk or half and half (see instructions below for why or how much to use)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Shuck all the ears of corn, then rinse off thoroughly while using a stiff “kitchen brush” to help remove all the remaining silk strands. Cut top one inch of cob off -- enough to get rid of old and/or undergrowth kernels. 
  2. With a sharp knife, prep the kernels for being cut off the cob. First, slice downwards between EACH row of kernels -- cutting from base of cob to the new end just cut off. Next, carefully slice down the MIDDLE of each row of kernels – literally cutting them in half. 
  3. Firmly hold the cob with bottom in hand and top pointed down into a large collection pan of your choice (low walled pizza/cookie sheet, 3 qtr or larger skillet, plastic storage container, etc.) and begin carefully cutting the kernels off the cob. Cut all the way down to the cob while making sure all your cuttings AND the juices from the kernels are falling safely into your container. 
  4. When all kernels have been cut off, flip the knife over so that back edge of blade is pointing down. Then while still holding the cob as described above, starting at the bottom of the cut cob, press down with the back edge of the blade as you push it downwards along the cob – literally squeezing out that last bit of “corn cream.” 
  5. Repeat for each cob. By the time you finish the “cutting the kernels off” step, you will forever appreciate all the great homemade creamed corned dishes you might have enjoyed in the past. 
  6. In a large skillet/sauce pan (recommend at least a 3-quart size), fry until crisp and remove bacon when done and retain ALL grease in pan. BTW, secret number 4 is to cook the creamed corn dish in a well broken in iron skillet. 
  7. Add butter to bacon grease in skillet/pan and then dump cut corn into pan. Make SURE you get all the cream/juices from the cut corn dumped also. 
  8. Cook slowly -- medium heat – for 10 minutes while STIRRING frequently. The absolute last thing you want is for any part of the corn to burn. 
  9. Add flour to mixture, mixing in thoroughly and continue COOKING SLOWLY for at least 30 minutes while STIRRING frequently. 
  10. Depending on how much “cream” your corn produced for you in the cutting process, you will have to add your choice of water, milk or half & half to the mixture -- as needed – to “soup up” your mixture as it slowly cooks. I admit this is a tricky step but you will know when the mixture is thick/soupy enough for your taste. If you have to eat the final dish with a spoon or use a knife to cut up the dish, you guessed wrong; 
  11. Salt and pepper to taste. I usually do this right after adding the flour. 
  12. Enjoy.


From Face Book posts by Mike Bailey, Dec. 2011.

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(posted 2 January 2012)