Side dishes do not need to be fancy to be impressive and delicious. For example, Smoky Stovetop Charred Corn has only four ingredients and takes less than ten minutes!
When I think about how easy this dish is, I ask myself if it’s worth publishing the recipe. I tend to think of a recipe has something that takes time and effort. But, the definition of a recipe itself is a set of instructions for preparing a particular dish. So, if that’s the case, a recipe is exactly what we have here!
Yesterday, I was watching an episode of the Pioneer Woman. She was making pizzas. She used a store-bought dough for the crust. The sauce was from a can. And the pepperoni and mozzarella were from a package and were already sliced. She just assembled the pizza; she didn’t make it. So, I figure if she can do it, then I can post a recipe as simple as this one!
This entire dish comes together with only four ingredients. You really can’t get any easier or budget-friendly than that! And, when it comes to side dishes with corn, I love them. Smoky Stovetop Charred Corn was a win-win for me!
CHARRING WITHOUT A GRILL – IT IS POSSIBLE!
Most of us think that in order to get a good char on a particular food item, a grill is needed. Now, if you have a grill, you can use it, but it’s not needed for this dish. The secret to a good char is not a grill, it’s high heat.
This side is prepared using only a skillet. Since you will not be using any butter or oil at the beginning, it’s important to use a non-stick skillet. The frozen corn goes in the skillet. The high heat will thaw the corn and once the water dissipates, the corn will start to char.
It’s important to leave the corn unattended for a minute or two at a time. Once you hear the corn sizzling, you can move the corn around in the skillet. If you move the corn too much, it will not have time to char. The darkened bits are what gives this corn some of it’s smoky flavour.
I have tried this corn dish in a traditional stainless steel skillet as well. If you’re not a seasoned cook, I would highly recommend using a non-stick skillet. Otherwise, you run the risk of sticking and too much char. And, do you know what too much char is? It’s burn and burnt corn does not taste good!
LET’S TALK SEASONED SALT!
Seasoned salt, which is sometimes called seasoning salt, is a very common spice rack ingredient. It is basically a combination of salt and other dried herbs and spices.
The most common ingredients in the blend are salt, ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper. Of course, like almost every other spice blend, there are variations on this.
You can busy seasoned salt just about anywhere. Most larger grocery stores will stock it. I know Walmart does too. And, if you’re in a bind, you can order it from Amazon. I tend to use the Club House brand, because it’s the most commonly found brand here in Canada.
However, in the United States, I gather that the most commonly used brand there is Lawry’s. Any brand will do just fine, because, as I mentioned, each one will vary. All of them will have a smoky flavour to them, because they all use paprika.
VARIATIONS AND ADD-INS
There is nothing wrong with a basic side dish. But, just about everything in life can be improved upon. If I were to change this dish up in any way, I would consider some of the following ideas.
Diced red and green bell peppers would be so great in this corn dish. Not only would they offer a beautiful pop of colour, but would add more fresh flavours too. You could also try adding some chopped green onions or chives for a brighter, onion-y flavour.
If it were left up to me, everything I prepare would have jalapenos in it. I’m in love with them and can’t get enough of then lately. I think the spiciness from the jalapenos would add so much depth to the existing smokiness from the paprika. So delicious!
What will you add? Are you a purist? Will you prepare the recipe just as it is – simple, cheap, smoky, delicious? Or will you jazz it up and add your own spin to it?
Smoky Stovetop Charred Corn
- 4 cups frozen corn
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- In a non-stick skillet, over high heat, add the corn and cook it until the corn has charred. To do this, leave the corn to cook for a minute before stirring. Leave for another minute before stirring again. Once you have charred the corn to your liking, move on to the next step.
- Add the black pepper and seasoned salt. Stir to combine.
- Make a well in the middle of the skillet by pushing the corn back to the sides. Place the butter into the well. It will melt very fast. Once melted, turn off the heat, stir to combine, and serve immediately.