Looking for an elegant starter with humble roots? Savory Creamed Corn Panna Cotta is creamed corn casserole, in exalted form. The step-by-step is below, with my complete recipe in the Huffington Post feature "Unconventional Thanksgiving Recipes From Chicago Chefs And Foodies". Enjoy!
The base of this recipe rests on just four ingredients - whole milk, corn, goat cheese and powdered gelatine. The simplest panna cotta in the world requires only milk (or cream) and gelatine...ok, and a bit of water to "bloom" the gelatine. It's such a beautifully streamlined dessert.
Should you wish to garnish, you could use finely chopped pimento, fried pancetta, and paprika.
(That paprika, friends, was plucked from the shelves at Budapest's main market, with the assistance of our Hungarian chef/guide. Someday I'll have to tell you about that day...)
To make enough panna cotta for four 4-ounce servings, combine 2 cups whole milk and 3 cups corn kernels in a saucepan over medium heat.
Simmer and stir for 5 minutes, then whisk in 4 ounces of goat cheese. Everything's better with goat cheese!
Whisk it well...
Cover, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
While that's steeping you can do three things:
#1 - Fry the pancetta for the garnish. If you have any canine kitchen helpers, they will no doubt appear during this step in the process.
#2 - "Bloom" the gelatine. Fill a small container with 4 TBS water. Sprinkle 3 tsp gelatine powder evenly over the surface of the water.
It will soon turn into a near solid. Resist the urge to play with it.
#3 - Lightly oil the insides of your ramekins. You could also use a muffin tin, but I'm using ramekins.
After 30 minutes, spoon out the gelatine blob...
And whisk it into the corn/milk mixture.
Strain the mixture into the oiled ramekins, and let it set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Reserve a little bit of the cooked corn for garnish.
After two hours, gently run a sharp knife along the side of the ramekins to release the panna cotta. Invert a small plate over the ramekin, flip, and garnish. Serve immediately.