Every once in a while (more than once a week, usually), I like to branch out and conduct a “Kitchen Experiment”. Cooking is a science. An imperfect science, and the kind of science that is perfected only through dashes of this, pinches of that, and usually self-injury. (Well, that last element may just be me.) Today, solely because I am flying high on the feeling of “I made food that tastes good!” I share with you two successes.
First up, this “Cheesy Corn Bake” recipe that I found… actually, I don’t remember how. I needed a side dish to pair with seasoned fries and Hoffman’s white hots [click the link to discover the fabulousness that is a pork-and-veal “snappy griller”]. Somehow in the midst of that internet wandering, I found the above recipe. I read through the ingredients, noting that I didn’t actually have all of them, and decided to proceed. Here’s how it went in my kitchen, and it comes highly recommended.
Cheesy Corn Bake, as it happened in my kitchen
Ingredients (serves 5 as a side dish):
frozen sweet corn
jarred roasted red peppers (marinated in olive oil and garlic cloves)
unsweetened almond milk
2% milk shredded Sharp cheddar
2% milk shredded four-cheese mexican blend
Steam 4C frozen corn in microwave. Drain off any steam water.
Meanwhile, throw about half a jar of the peppers in a cast-iron skillet with some of the jarred pepper juice. Cook on medium heat about 4-5 minutes, cutting up into smaller pieces. Remove from heat.
Melt 2.5 TBS butter in a saucepan on the hot burner (that you just took the cast-iron skillet off). When melted, add 2.5 TBS flour and whisk for about 90 secs. Add 1C milk slowly (this means, add about 1/3c milk, whisk heartily 60seconds, add another 1/3c, whisk heartily, repeat until milk is gone). Keep whisking until sauce has thickened. (2minutes, maybe. Do NOT stop whisking).
Take the pot off the heat, add the cheeses, and whisk repeatedly until completely smooth. Add some salt and chili powder, til you like the taste of the sauce. If you’re me, you want a little heat. If not, omit the chili powder.
Stir the steamed corn into the sauce, then add in the peppers with their skillet sauce/juice stuff. Stir well. Pour into the cast iron skillet you used for the peppers. Don’t bother cleaning it. Put the skillet in the oven, 375*F, for about 25minutes. Let sit about 5mins after removing from oven for the bake to cool down and set.
Now for dessert. Noms.
Bake a box of carrot cake as directed. Because seriously, the cake is not the key here. Good frosting is. I would tell you where I found the basis for this recipe, but… I have no idea where I found it. Then, I realized I only had 6oz. of cream cheese so I had to multiply the whole recipe by 3/4 to get equivalents. Then I changed a few of the measurements.
So here goes Marie’s Just Slightly Tart Cream Cheese Frosting For Carrot Cake.
Ingredients (with measurements as I remember them)
6oz. Neufchatel cheese (the 1/3-less-fat-cream cheese)
Half-stick salted butter
2 teaspoons almond milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 and 3/4C powdered sugar (that’s 2.75C)
Beat cheese and butter together. Then add milk/cinn/van/lemon, beat about 15seconds. Add 1C sugar, beat until blended, add another 1C sugar, beat until blended, add remaining 3/4C sugar and beat until smooth. If very thick, add 1/2teaspoon milk. Refrigerate frosting until cake is done and mostly cooled.
That’s all I’ve got for you. Time for my second piece of cake. Because I can.