Con­fetti corn with ba­con makes a party in a side dish

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - BOOKS -

Back­yard grilling weather is here! Look­ing for the best bar­be­cue side dish on the planet? This creamy con­fetti corn with ba­con from Cook­ing Classy might just be it!

Get ready for fresh-off-the-cob corn ker­nels, sweet pep­per and red onion sautéed in ba­con fat, all draped in a cream cheese sauce and topped with ba­con bits, green onions and fresh cilantro. One taste, and you’ll want to make con­fetti corn ev­ery week.

Fresh corn is hands-down the tasti­est corn, and well worth the trip to the farm­ers mar­ket. (Pick up a red pep­per, onion and fresh cilantro, too.) Ba­con is a star in­gre­di­ent — half a pound of it!

Fry up the ba­con in a large skil­let un­til it it has just be­come crisp. Don’t over­cook it, or you’ll have hard, burned-fla­vor ba­con bits in your salad. Re­mem­ber: Ba­con cooks after you take it from heat. Trans­fer it to a pa­per-lined plate.

In the same skil­let with a lit­tle of the ren­dered ba­con fat, cook the corn, pep­per and onion un­til they’re ten­der. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. You can add a dash or two of cayenne pep­per or chipo­tle pow­der for heat.

Stir in the cream cheese and melt it into the hot corn mix­ture. Add milk a ta­ble­spoon at a time to ad­just the creami­ness to your lik­ing.

Toss in ba­con bits, green onions and cilantro. Serve it while it’s hot!

Quick tip: Swap frozen and thawed sweet corn ker­nels. Skip the canned corn, though.

Ingredients

8 slices (8 ounces) ba­con, diced into small pieces

2 cups fresh corn ker­nels (from about 7 ears), cut from cobs, di­vided into fourths

2/3 cup small red bell pep­per, diced into 1/4-inch pieces 1/2 cup diced red onion 1/2 tea­spoon sea salt

1/2 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per

6 ounces cubed cream cheese, room tem­per­a­ture

1/3 cup milk, plus ex­tra if needed 1/3 cup sliced green onions 2 ta­ble­spoons minced fresh cilantro

In­struc­tions

In large skil­let over medium-high heat, cook ba­con un­til crisp. Drain, re­serv­ing about 1 ta­ble­spoon fat in skil­let.

Trans­fer ba­con to plate lined with pa­per tow­els.

To hot skil­let, add corn, bell pep­per and onion. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Sauté for about 6 min­utes or un­til pep­per and onion are ten­der.

Stir in cream cheese and milk. Cook un­til cheese has melted. Add more milk 1 ta­ble­spoon at a time to thin as needed.

Trans­fer corn to serv­ing bowl and top with re­main­ing ba­con, green onions and cilantro.

Serve warm.

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