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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dorothy Dean presents: This side dish corn casserole could steal the main entrée spotlight

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

The windows are frosted. Fires are crackling. And hats and gloves are a must. Winter’s here in full force, and, when it comes to food, it’s definitely not salads we’re craving. ’Tis the season of comfort food.

Rich stews, hearty soups and one of my favorites: casseroles. They’re simple and satisfying, can be made in advance and are a no-brainer when feeding a crowd. And with holiday parties in full swing, they make the perfect side dish to the star of the table – turkey, prime rib, seafood or ham.

I’ll warn you, however, that this corn casserole might very well steal the spotlight. Decked with a soft golden crust, it’s slightly sweet yet comforting and savory. Not to mention that it’s practically effortless to make.

Six ingredients – including a can of corn and creamed corn, a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, sour cream, butter and shredded cheese – are combined and baked to golden deliciousness. It’s rich and creamy with a corn bread-like base and pairs well with just about anything.

The ease of this dish, combined with its versatility and that it can be made it advance, makes it ideal for holidays and weeknight dinners alike. Fresh herbs, green chilies, red peppers, jalapeños and bacon are tasty additions.

Corn casserole also can be made in a slow cooker. Just cook on high heat for 2-3 hours until the center is set.

Corn Casserole

Adapted from foodnetwork.com.

1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn

1 (8-ounce) package Jiffy corn muffin mix

1 cup sour cream

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. In a large bowl, stir together the two cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream and melted butter.

Pour into the prepared dish, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove foil, top with shredded cheddar and place back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at spoonandswallow@yahoo.com.

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