Saturday, August 25, 2012

Adapting Family Recipes: Scalloped Corn

I am guilty.  I ruthlessly adapt family recipes to suit my tastes and preferences.  I do it with my mother's recipes, and I do it with my mother-in-law's recipes.  But I'm a little more likely to do it with my mother-in-law's recipes, as I just prefer more spice and seasoning in my food than she used.  Now, my kids are trained to prefer more seasoning, as well.

I'm not sure if Steve's family appreciated it when I started bringing the traditional scalloped corn to family holidays "April-style" or not.  But Steve's Mom kept asking me to bring it, so I guess she didn't mind too much.

It's been awhile since I made it, but last night I decided to use some of the cream style corn in our pantry and make it.  As I was preparing it, my way, I thought it would be fun to share my Mother-in-law's recipe, and my variations on it.

Janice's Scalloped Corn 1960's Style
1 can (15 oz.) cream style corn
1 cup saltine cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
1 egg
Mix all ingredients together in a greased casserole dish. 
Bake at 325 (in preheated oven)  for 50-60 minutes, though it usually took longer.
Test with a knife in center of  dish. It is done when the knife emerges mostly dry and the top is evenly puffed.

My mother-in-law usually tripled this and prepared it in a 5 quart deep square Corningware casserole dish.  It created a deep, puffy, mushy pudding when she was done, and the only seasoning was the salt on the saltine crackers.

April's 21st Century Scalloped Corn
2 cans (15 oz. each) cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups saltine cracker crumbs (or 1 cup crackers and 1 cup old-fashioned oats)
onion powder, season to taste
black pepper, season to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350* in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.  Scalloped Corn is ready when edges are golden brown, top is evenly puffed and crispy, and knife emerges from center mostly dry.

I preferred cooking this in the shallower 9x13 pan because it cooked faster and developed a nice crispy crust on it.  I also preferred the texture of adding in a can of whole kernel corn, and I definitely preferred that it have a savory onion and pepper flavor to balance out the sweetness of the corn.  To be honest, my children prefer it my way, at least the ones who will eat it.  Some of my kids just do NOT like the mush-factor of scalloped veggies, though mine is less mushy than the original recipe.  Steve likes it my way, but I'm sure he'd eat his mother's original recipe just as happily.

Do you have any family recipes that you've tweaked to suit your preferences?

April E.

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