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Thanksgiving with Big Tree Farms: Mary Jane's Confetti Corn Casserole

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we've been deep in conversation with some of our favorite foodies about their food philosophies and Thanksgiving feasting tips. 

Our next foodie is Mary Jane Edleson, co-founder of Slow Food Bali. 

1. What's your food philosophy?

  • Fresh, fresh fresh!
  • Waste not, want not!
  • And if doesn’t turn out, just give it another name!

2. What's your favorite thing to cook for Thanksgiving?

 Any colorful vegetables for roasting (with salt, rosemary and coconut oil), like sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrot, fennel, etc. Zucchini or small pumpkins for holding creative rice or grain stuffing.

Below is one of Mary Jane's favorite recipes. Enjoy!

Corn casserole

Mary Jane’s Confetti Corn Casserole

This recipe could have a myriad of variations by changing the colorful “confetti” of vegetables added to the corn base. I’ve used sweet bell peppers and celery below, but chopped kale, spinach or basil could be other choices. The key issue is the proportion of liquid in the creamed corn and having sufficient eggs to create a good set in the final baked casserole. Creative toppings could be added, like onion rings, olives or jalapeno peppers. In fact, some of my best variations on this recipe were from just cleaning out the refrigerator, and chopping up all the yummy bitty-bits, often adding in a handful of fresh herbs from the garden. I always sprinkle paprika (sweet or hot) on the top, because my mother ALWAYS did that on casseroles (and most everything else). You can not go wrong, when your main ingredient is LOVE! And the leftover corn casserole is fantastic with a big green salad the next day.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons (42 g) of butter

3 tablespoons (27 g) flour (regular or all purpose gluten-free blend)

3 cups (24 ounces / 700 ml) fresh milk (or soy)

1 teaspoon (6g) Big Tree Farms sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons (25 g) Big Tree Farms coconut sugar

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 ½ pounds (24 ounces / 680 gm) fresh corn (shucked from husks)

1 large white onion, chopped

1 large red sweet bell pepper and one large green sweet bell pepper, half chopped in small bits, and the other half cut in strips or rings (for the topping)

1 cup of finely chopped celery

1 ½ cup of cooked brown rice (best from the day before) or a similar volume of crushed crackers or small dry bread cubes

4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine

8 large fresh whole eggs, lightly hand beaten

In a medium-size, heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter slowly over medium heat. Add the flour all at once, and whisk to combine well with the butter. Allow to cook, whisking regularly, until the mixture is fully-combined and has started to smell fragrant (about 1 – 2 minutes).

Add the milk in a slow steady stream, continuing the whisking until the mixture is well-combined.

Add salt, pepper, sugar and dry oregano, and stir to an even consistency.

 Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue stirring and cooking until the mixture begins to thicken (about 5 minutes). Add the fresh corn kernels, and stir to combine. Cook until the corn is heated through (about 5 minutes).

Set the pan aside, and let it cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine the chopped red and green peppers, celery, onions, garlic, brown rice (or other choices of crackers or bread cubes). Pour the beaten eggs over the mixture, and stir until even.

Combine the egg & pepper mixture with the cooled creamed corn, and stir until even consistency.

Butter a 12 inch (30 cm) cast iron pan. Pour the combined mixture into the pan. Decorate the top with red & green sweet bell pepper rings.

 Bake uncovered in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Centigrade), until the casserole has achieved a firm set (about one hour or more).

(Optional grated cheese can be put on as a topping in the last 20 minutes, and cooked until nicely bubbling & browned.)

Corn casserole for Thanksgiving leftovers


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