There are few foods as simple, delicious and complete as fresh seasonal corn on the cob. When it's really fresh, I'll even eat it raw. No boiling, no butter, no salt. It's perfectly sweet and tender right off the stalk.
Still, even perfection can get boring, and I recently began wondering what else I could do with fresh corn. I thought back to my days as the host of the Food Network's Cooking Live, when one of my guest chefs whipped up some corn soup and thickened it with pureed corn.
Of course, I'd known that any pureed vegetable will thicken a stew or soup. But corn has a secret ingredient -- Duh! -- cornstarch. I was astonished by the creaminess and thickness of my guest's soup.
This recipe was inspired by that soup. Creamed corn is thus named because it usually depends on cream for its creaminess. That's a problem for me for a couple of reasons. The cream not only makes the dish too rich, but it also tends to mask the flavor of the corn itself.
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So I took a tip from my chef friend and used pureed corn to achieve a silky richness without any additional fat. Caramelized onions add great depth of flavor, while the chili's heat and lime juice's acidity balance the sweetness of the corn.
Don't hesitate to finish the dish with just about any herb in the garden these days. Corn plays nicely with almost all of them.