Each month, we’ll go inside the kitchen and bring you one of Chef Ken Dempsey’s personal recipes!
As a kid, I watched my grandma take great care preparing meals usually consisting only of traditional side dishes like ham hocks and pintos, smothered potatoes, greens, iron skillet cornbread, brown sugar, and onion green beans. These meals didn’t include a lot of expensive proteins, but they were soulfully made meals with incredible flavor. To tell you the truth, we never noticed the missing main entrée after devouring my grandmothers cooking.
Not surprisingly, I still love the side dishes as much, and sometimes even more than the main event. In this Soulful Gourmet recipe, I take one of my least favorite sides, creamed corn (the only version I ever had as a kid was of the canned variety. Do they even still make this stuff?), and turn it into a crowd pleaser that’s sure to impress your guests.
Ingredients for Sauce Mix:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2 tablespoons diced red onion
-3 cloves garlic (minced)
-¼ cup white wine
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Ingredients for Corn Mix:
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 green bell pepper (diced)
-1 red bell pepper (diced)
-1 small red onion-diced (reserve 2 tablespoons for sauce mix)
-1 ½ tablespoons coarse black pepper
-1 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt
-10 cloves garlic (minced)
-3 ears of corn on the cob-lightly grilled and milked
-12 oz package of crawfish tails
-1 tablespoon real butter
-½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I use Slap Yo Mama!)
-4 green onions (chopped)
Directions for Sauce Mix:
1. Heat olive oil in a small pot on medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until garlic is golden and fragrant.
3. Add white wine and cook until reduced by half.
4. Add heavy cream and cook until reduced by a third.
5. Stir in parmesan cheese until completely melted and sauce is smooth.
6. Remove from heat and set aside.
Directions for Corn Mix:
1. Slice grilled corn kernels from the cob.
2. Use the inside of a spoon to scrape the remaining corn “milk” and add to sliced corn kernels.
3. Heat olive oil until hot.
4. Sauté red & green bell peppers, onions, and salt & pepper until tender—approx. 2-3 minutes.
5. Add garlic and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
6. Add corn to mixture and continue sautéing another 1-2 minutes.
7. Add 2/3 package of crawfish to the mixture and sauté another 2 minutes.
8. Mix in the sauce and simmer about 5 minutes.
Directions for Remaining Crawfish:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of real butter on medium high heat—approx. 1 minute.
2. Add Cajun seasoning and stir until mixed.
3. Add remainder of crawfish tails and sauté 2 minutes.
4. Top creamed corn mixture with sautéed crawfish tails and chopped green onions.
This dish is a terrific accompaniment to your main dish, but honestly, it is exciting enough and filling enough to be the star of your show. Add a loaf of French bread and this “soulful gourmet” play on a traditional Southern dish becomes the perfect meal.