Smoked Creamed Corn & Bacon

Cook time: 20 Min Prep time: 1 Hr 20 Min Serves: Several

Ingredients:

PLAN/PURCHASE:

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2 – 3 slice bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp sweet butter, unsalted
1/4 c yellow onion, finely chopped
12 oz sweet corn, more on this later
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 c half & half
1 – 2 pinch sweet paprika
1 – 2 pinch cayenne pepper
salt, kosher variety, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Directions:

1. PREP/PREPARE

2. You will need a skillet big enough to hold all the ingredients.
3. You have two choices for the corn: 1. Place it in a smoker set at 270f (130c), for about 90 minutes (I used applewood for the smoke). 2. Cook it on your gas, or charcoal grill. In both cases, the corn kernels were safely wrapped up in their husks. Then allow them to cool and cut the kernels off the cob. You do not need to do this step, but it really gives the corn a wonderful smoky flavor.
4. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
5. Add the chopped bacon to a pan over medium heat.
6. Cook until the bacon crisps up, about 3 – 5 minutes.
7. Drain the bacon on paper towels, and reserve.
8. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan and add the butter.
9. When the butter melts, give the pan a swirl, and add the onions.
10. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook the onions until they soften, but not brown, about 2 – 3 minutes.
11. Add the half & half, corn, and the softened cream cheese.
12. Stir until the cream cheese incorporates into the other ingredients, about 4 – 6 minutes.
13. Season with the dry spices to taste and remove from the heat.
14. Remove about half the corn mixture, add to a blender, or food processor, and blend; however, do not over-blend, leave some bits. I like to use 1-second pulses until I like what I see.
15. Return the blended corn to the skillet and keep warm until ready to serve.
16. PLATE/PRESENT
17. Top with the reserved bacon, and serve as a side dish with chicken, fish, pork, beef… whatever. Enjoy.
18. Keep the faith and keep cooking.

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