I found real corn at the Bastille market. Non-shrink-wrapped corn, still in husks, clearly picked that day because it was as sweet as I remember summer corn being in California. Hallelujah!
The first couple of ears, I ate raw, straight off the cob. My colleagues used to make fun of me for doing things like that when I had an office job. The rest, I made into simple soup, or this scalloped corn. The corn’s creaminess heightened by béchamel sauce, its crunchiness heightened by bread crumbs, this was a perfect summer side dish.
Adapted from Shutterbean.
Makes 2 servings.
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 large ears of corn
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Combine the shallot, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and salt in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Sweat the shallot until it starts to become transparent, about 3-4 minutes, then add the flour, paprika, and cayenne to make a roux. Continue to cook the roux over medium-low heat for another 4-5 minutes, until it’s a toasty light brown.
Whisk in a little bit of the half-and-half to help it incorporate into the roux, then whisk in the rest. Heat until it’s at a low simmer, keep it there for about a minute until thickened, then take it off the heat to cool.
As the béchamel cools, heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Shuck your corn and slice off the kernels. Place the kernels into a medium-sized bowl. Scrape the back of your knife against the cob to get the last of the creamy bits and add that to the bowl too.
Whisk the egg yolk in a bowl. Add a spoonful or so of the cooled béchamel to the egg yolk at a time, continuing to whisk. Add a little more and a little more of the béchamel to the egg, until it’s all incorporated.
Add the béchamel and egg mixture into the bowl of corn kernels and mix thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into two ramekins and top with bread crumbs. Dot the remaining tablespoon of butter over the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the corn is heated through and the bread crumbs are brown and toasty. Serve immediately.
Music to cook by: Hallelujah [The Helio Sequence // Keep Your Eyes Ahead]