How To Properly Season Canned Corn For Ultimate Flavor

Open can of corn with cobs
Open can of corn with cobs - AtlasStudio/Shutterstock

Whether accompanying a holiday feast or served alongside a weekday dinner, canned corn is a convenient, nutritious, and delicious side dish. While it can be a little bland on its own, it serves as the perfect vehicle for a variety of seasonings and additions beyond simple salt and pepper.

One such spice is smoked paprika, which will add a deep savoriness to creamed corn. It's thought that creamed corn recipes may have originated with Indigenous Americans, who used the vegetable's opaque liquid (often called corn milk) instead of cream to imbue the dish with its silky texture that's so beloved. Many current variations use both milk and cream to improve the texture and enhance the dish's sweetness. You can make the hearty side dish even more flavorful and amplify the paprika's smokiness with the addition of bacon. Along with infusing the dish with porky richness, crispy bacon also adds a bit of texture for a more engaging dining experience.

Smoked paprika and bacon-infused creamed corn is ideal for holiday potlucks and is filling enough to serve as a lunch or light dinner on its own. But of course, when it comes to seasoning canned corn, this decadent iteration is just the start.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

A Perfect Addition To Taco Tuesday

Esquites in a glass
Esquites in a glass - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Taco night just isn't the same without a side dish, and canned corn offers an easy yet delicious option. Elote is a popular Mexican street food that features corn on the cob plus additions like cilantro, chili powder, garlic, lime juice, and mayonnaise. Elote also comes covered in Cotija, a cow's milk cheese known for its semi-firm texture and briny flavor. While undeniably tasty, traditional elote can be slightly messy to eat, so using canned corn instead of fresh is a great alternative if you're seeking a low-stress weeknight dinner.

In this case, an elote bowl allows you to incorporate boldly flavored ingredients with canned corn. Because corn cobs are typically grilled for elote, you'll need to replicate the flavor with canned varieties. This is as simple as drizzling oil on the corn and toasting it in the oven on a baking sheet. Or if you have a kitchen torch, you can quickly char your kernels. From there, you can incorporate the toasted corn with other elote ingredients and serve alongside the main course.

Honey Is An Unexpected Enhancement To Canned Corn

corn with cheese and seasonings
corn with cheese and seasonings - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Corn is naturally sweet, and certain ingredients are perfect for accentuating that quality. Much like how sweet potato casserole is a staple of Thanksgiving spreads, adding honey to canned corn can make for a tasty side dish with a welcome sugary touch. Honey is also an excellent base for other flavors, so you can alter the dish according to your taste preferences.

If you want something sweet, creamy, and slightly tangy, honey and cream cheese can be used in conjunction when cooking the corn in a pan on the stovetop. If you'd rather go a more sweet-savory route, nix the cream cheese and opt for something sharper like parmesan, or combine butter and honey to achieve a smooth texture with a more velvety richness. You can also add a bit of heat to the dish by amending your seasonings. While black pepper is the standard, sprinkling a touch of chile flakes will infuse the honey with just the right amount of spice for an alluring bite.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.