Cooking with Fire: Thanksgiving

Nov 4, 2016

It’s my favorite time of year. As the weather finally starts to cool down, we break out our fire pit to host family and friends for evenings of great food cooked over an open fire. This is also the time of year that we turn our attention to foods that only seem to come around once a year.

Dishes like chili, potato soup, and all-things-pumpkin that have been hibernating, waiting for the days when we break out our supplies and get cooking.

One of my favorite seasonal dishes is creamed corn. Not the stuff in the can you buy at the grocery store, but the real deal--cooked from scratch with whole corn on the cob, and a heaping portion of butter and cream cheese.

Although I enjoy creamed corn throughout the fall, I connect it specifically to Thanksgiving dinner. But doesn’t it seem that lately many Thanksgiving dishes are dominated by ingredients carelessly dumped out of a can? Think about it. Cranberry sauce, cream of mushroom soup, corn and even canned pumpkin filling. Though canning is an important part in preserving food to be eaten at a later date, I believe canned foods should never be the go-to ingredients for our home cooked meals. Especially at Thanksgiving. Low in flavor, bland canned foods are detrimental to your enjoyment of a great meal.

My challenge to all of you is to pick up fresh ingredients this holiday season and wow family and friends with superior dishes and flavors. That’s what Chef Tom and I did during our latest Cooking with Fire podcast. We discussed our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes--all prepared over an open fire--and we even share an amazing recipe for grilled cream corn.

The podcast and recipe can be found below.

Grilled Creamed Corn

Ingredients

  • 8 ears fresh corn
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons  fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill to 450ºF, set up for direct grilling. Rub the corn with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat on all sides until nicely browned and slightly charred, about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill. Turn the grill down to 375ºF. Cut the kernels off of the cob and place in a 12” cast iron skillet.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet, cover the skillet and place in the grill. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are melted and the mixture is creamy, 30-45 minutes. Serve warm.
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