In any given household, there is that one dish that makes a roast dinner. I’m not talking about the meat — that’s too obvious. I’m talking about a dish — usually a side — that is always on your table, even though its status may be less than canonical. It’s the dish you missed when you attended your fist Friendsgiving or Christmas lunch at your in-laws. It’s the one you didn’t realise wasn’t a given in every home. For me, it is the humble corn casserole.
When preparing a holiday meal, it can be hard to know where it’s OK to use a mix or some other shortcut, and where every-element-made-from-scratch homemade is totally, completely worth it. The individual elements of the meal aren’t exactly hard, but there are just so many elements, so I like to have a few dishes that I can literally slap together with no skill or culinary thought. As you know, I am not above a mix, a can, or processed food in general, but canned vegetables — such as green beans — are generally not my favourite, even in a casserole setting. But the Jiffy Spoon Bread casserole — or, as my family calls it “corn casserole” — is one case where not one, but two types of canned corn is simply a must.
When combined with a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, eggs, and sour cream, the sometimes cloying creamed corn and crunchy whole kernel corn combine forces for a dish that is somewhere in between cornbread, corn pudding, and a corn soufflé. It’s decadent almost to the point of absurdity, but it’s the absolute perfect partner for roasted turkey, and I will riot if it’s not on my dining table.
Though the original recipe does not suggest topping the whole thing with cheese, I can’t recommend the practice enough, especially since a nice, sharp cheddar provides a much needed hit of salt to keep this from veering into dessert territory. (If you do not think corn can be a dessert, get yourself some sweet summer corn ice cream and let your life be changed.)
In terms of labour, this dish clocks in with not that much. You’ll need two small bowls or mugs — one for melting butter and one for beating a couple of eggs — but everything else can be mixed right in your casserole dish or cast iron pan. In terms of leftovers, the payoff is huge, as corn casserole makes an excellent breakfast carb or midnight snack, particularly when warmed in a nonstick skillet so the bottom gets nice and crispy. To make your own, you will need:
1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 can of creamed corn
1/2 can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 packet shredded sharp cheddar
Add the butter and both types of corn to 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, or a 12 inch cast iron pan. Stir it all together, then add the sour cream and eggs, and stir again. Add the mix, and stir yet another time, until you have a visually uniform mixture. Top the whole thing with shredded cheese, then pop it into a 190-degree oven until it’s set in the middle (about 30 minutes), covering with foil if the cheese browns too quickly. Let cool for about five minutes, cut into neat little squares, and enjoy alongside your other favourite sides.