This is one of the best things that I have tasted in a long time. And that’s saying something. I love to cook, to test new recipes and make old favorites. I enjoy trying every kind of crazy and wonderful food cooked by others. So I am constantly and continually consuming excellent vittles. But this recipe, oh, my. It ranks in the very top-most tier of lusciously good eats. And it is quite simple to make, really, and with ingredients that are mostly commonplace. Humble. Ordinary. Or so they would appear.
The genesis of this recipe lies within one provided by David Chang. I added a red pepper here, sauteed the corn in bacon fat there, while stirring in green onions to meld with the greater whole. The first time I prepared this recipe, I figured it would be good. All of the ingredients are tasty themselves, so the amalgamation could only be decent, especially when incorporated with that lovely hint of smoky bacon. But I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Paulo and I sat down, spoons at the ready, and tasted.
We didn’t speak for a while. The pile of corn diminished. We were grinning, eyes widening, in gustatory pleasure. The miso butter and bacon mixed with the veggies was truly decadent. A word about that is in order, I suppose. I probably will receive comments chiding me for my use of that butter and bacon. It’s saturated fat!?! Saturated fat is bad, unhealthy, unconscionable, don’t you know? How can you claim to prefer healthful food, and then publish a recipe such as this? Ahh, but a little of that fat now and again isn’t harmful. An indulgence is just that, an infrequent treat that allows one to savor life fully. And in this dish, it is used the correct way. As an accent, a supporting player, that so wonderfully enhances the vegetables. I have absolutely no qualm about recommending this recipe to any and everyone out there. Whip up a batch for yourself, and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.
Sweet Corn with Miso Butter and Bacon
2 large yellow onions
4T shiro (white) miso, room temperature
2T butter, room temperature
3 slices thick-cut smoky bacon
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, 1/4″ dice
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
10 green onions, thinly sliced
Peel the yellow onions. Quarter them lengthwise, then slice widthwise. In a large saute pan heat the oil and add the onions. Stir occasionally over medium-low heat, adding a little salt, until the onion is richly caramelized. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk together the miso and butter until a smooth paste forms. Slice the bacon crosswise into 1/8″ wide pieces. Saute the bacon in a deep pan until just beginning to crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the bacon fat (mmmm) saute the corn and bell pepper until the corn begins to soften, but retains a nice snap, about 4 minutes. Add the bacon, caramelized onions, miso butter, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Stir together until the butter has melted and the ingredients are blended and heated through, another minute or two. Stir in half the green onions. Serve warm, topped with the remaining green onions.