Friday, January 25, 2008

Couldn't come up with a non-corny title...

"Yes, there are thousands and thousands of uses for corn, all of which I'm going to tell you about right now!" Tina, the Alamo Tour Guide in Pee Wee's Big Adventure

To me, nothing spells summer like roasted, butter-drenched corn on the cob. Yes, folks, corn tops my favorite vegetables list. And while I tend to eat more of it in the warm months than the wintry ones, I'm certainly not one to turn up my nose should someone make a corn-based recipe in January.

This afternoon, I was fortunate enough to enjoy some leftover Southern-style cornbread made by a co-worker. Topped with jalapenos and cheese, it was a delicious treat on a gray day. And it reminded me how much I love corny snacks! Wocka Wocka Wocka. I know, I know. Lame joke. But it's Friday and I'm ready to go home, so bear with me.

Anyhoo, I don't know about you, faithful readers, but whenever I think about corn, I still have flashbacks to the hilarious Alamo scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure - one of the best 1980s movies. Right before the infamous, "There's no basement at the Alamo!" line, Jan (of SNL fame) Hooks' character talks about how the mainstay of the Alamo diet was corn: "Corn can be prepared many ways. It can be boiled, shucked, creamed, or in this case, dried. Corn can also be used to make...tortillas."

Definitely watch the clip below for the full belly-laugh.

Here are two lower-calorie corn recipes utilizing sucralose. Thanks to Hungry Girl for the first and for the second.

Cheesy-Good Cornbread Muffins

1 cup canned cream-style corn
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp. hot sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine flour, cornmeal, Splenda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together all other ingredients - then add the contents of the small bowl to the large one, and stir until well mixed.
3. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line it with baking cups. Evenly distribute muffin batter among the cups. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes (until muffins are firm and a light golden brown). Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Corn Tomalito

5 tablespoons margarine, softened
1/4 cup masa harina
1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/2 cup water
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons milk

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the margarine, masa flour, and SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener until light and fluffy. In a food processor or blender, blend one cup of the corn kernels with the water and cornmeal just until smooth. Stir into the masa mixture. Mix in the remaining corn, baking powder, salt, and milk until the batter is smooth. Pour into an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.
2. Place the baking dish over a large saucepan of simmering water. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil, and steam for 50 to 60 minutes, or until firm. Check water occasionally, and refill if necessary. Stir pudding before serving to give it a consistent texture. Serve in small scoops.

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