Corn pops up twice, in bread, chowder


Myron L. Steckman of Baltimore is ready for some corn bread made with canned whole-kernel corn. Lois Price of Black Butte Ranch, Ore., asked for a recipe for corn chowder with bits of ham in it -- like a dish that is famous in a Michigan restaurant she knows.

Tester Laura Reiley chose a corn-bread recipe from Phyllis Bonacci of Duquesne, Pa. For the corn chowder, she picked a recipe sent in by Evelyn Dennett of Rapid City, S.D. It calls for salt pork. Dennett said she believes smoked ham could be substituted for the salt pork, and Reiley agreed.

Corn Bread

Serves 8-10 as a side dish

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 (12-ounce) can whole-kernel corn

1 (14 1/2 -ounce) can cream-style corn

about 12 to 13 ounces corn muffin mix

3/4 cup margarine, melted

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Combine first six ingredients. Spread in a 9-inch-by-11-inch baking dish. Top with Swiss cheese. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the bread comes out clean.

Tester Reiley's comments: "This is like a cross between corn bread and corn pudding. Most easily eaten with a fork, it is tender and moist, with sweet corn flavor. The cheese creates a kind of crust on top, adding to the textural interest. It is especially good as an accompaniment to ham or chili. I used white corn niblets for the whole corn, which added a particularly appealing corn flavor."

Corn Chowder

Serves 6

8 medium ears corn, husked

1/4 pound salt pork, cut in a fine dice

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped

2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup water

2 cups milk

2 cups light cream

Cut the kernels of corn from the cobs cream-style. To do so, make a deep cut down the center of each row of kernels with a sharp knife, then, using the knife, scrape the corn pulp and milk into a large bowl.

Fry the salt pork in a large, heavy skillet until most of the drippings have cooked out and only the crispy brown bits remain. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.

Pour all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the skillet; add onions and potatoes and saute slowly until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add sugar, paprika, salt, pepper and water; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Add corn, milk, cream and browned salt pork. Adjust heat so mixture bubbles gently, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed. Ladle into soup plates and serve with crisp crackers.

Tester Reiley's comments: "This is a delicious, rich chowder, with great corn flavor augmented by the smokiness of the salt pork. Certainly diced ham could be substituted; brown the onions and potatoes in 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and add the ham when the corn is added.

"If corn is not in season, a 15- or 16-ounce can of corn niblets may be substituted. For extra sweetness and color, think about adding a chopped red bell pepper when the corn kernels are added. I used red potatoes and sweet onions."

Recipe requests

* JoAnn Olsen of Perry Hall is seeking what she believes is an Italian cookie called chocolate balls. "It contains cloves, cocoa, rum and orange flavoring. The icing is an orange-flavored confectioners' sugar glaze."

* Marge Muntan of New Eagle, Pa., wants a stuffed pork chop recipe like the one her late sister-in-law used to make. "It was made with boiled eggs and bread crumbs, etc., and was delicious."

* Ruth Johnson of Mount Pleasant, Pa., wants two recipes using dried figs that are ground. The first is a fig cake, the second is individual rolls like cinnamon rolls. Johnson says she saw the recipes in a Woman's Day magazine around 1950 and used them when she was a cook in a private school. "Thanks for any help you can give me," she adds.

* Debra Ward of Longview, Wash., is seeking a recipe for a sour cream fudge "that has no chocolate in it."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Pub Date: 02/17/99

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