Warm Mexicorn Dip

Warm Mexicorn Dip | Pinky's Pantry
This dip has been a long time favorite in my family. It’s very, very easy to make because you just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and microwave it! It’s a great appetizer for a Cinco de Mayo party. I you want to make this meatless, you can omit the bacon. I think it’s fine without it, but my kids swear it tastes better with bacon. Either way, you’ve got to give this recipe a try. You won’t be sorry. Make sure you serve it warm!

WARM MEXICORN DIP

  • 4 cans (11 ozs. each) Green Giant mexi-corn, drained well
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 of a 16-oz. container sour cream
  • 16 ozs. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 or 4 green onion stalks, chopped (depends on how big they are)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Microwave until hot and bubbly, stopping to stir halfway through (about 5 minutes).
  3. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Peruvian Quinoa Vegetable Stew

Pinky's Pantry | Quinoa Vegetable Stew
This vegetarian dish is popularly eaten in Peru. Besides being healthy and good for you, it’s also very easy to make. I think you could add other veggies to it if you wanted to, like carrots, mushrooms, kale, or peas, which makes it quite the versatile little dish. Just make sure you keep in the potato and corn which are what make it classically Peruvian. Oh and I forgot to sprinkle the cilantro over it before I took the photo above. Don’t do what I did. The cilantro adds a delicious pop of flavor so you don’t want to leave it out. This recipe serves 2 people, but could very easily be doubled or tripled to feed more.

PERUVIAN QUINOA VEGETABLE STEW
[Serves 2]

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¾ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 red potato (6 ozs.), unpeeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ⅓ cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • ⅓ cup fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, paprika, coriander and cumin.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in water, scraping up any browned bits.
  5. Stir in broth and potato, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in quinoa and simmer for 8 minutes.
  7. Stir in corn and zucchini and continue to simmer until quinoa and vegetables are just tender, 6-8 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Divide stew into 2 bowls.
  10. Top each with a sprinkling of cilantro, a little avocado, some crumbled queso fresco, and 2 or 3 lime wedges for your guests to squeeze into the stew before eating.

[Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated]

Breakfast Corn Casserole

Breakfast Corn Casserole | Pinky's Pantry
This is a great casserole to serve for breakfast on a weekend morning. I’m making it for Christmas breakfast this year actually. It’s easy to do and better still, you can make it a day in advance. I like to serve this casserole with a bowl of salsa on the side. Yum!

BREAKFAST CORN CASSEROLE

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 ozs. chopped fresh kale
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (can substitute dried)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans cream-style corn
  • 1 lb. ham, diced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 box cornbread mix (like Krusteaz or Marie Callenders)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onions, kale, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until kale is soft and onions are translucent.
  4. Add corn, ham, and sour cream, and cook until hot and bubbly.
  5. Pour corn mixture into prepared baking dish; set aside. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight at this point.
  6. Next day, remove casserole from refrigerator at least half an hour before baking.
  7. Prepare the cornbread batter according to directions on the back of the package.
  8. Stir 1 cup cheese into cornbread batter.
  9. Pour cornbread batter over corn mixture in baking dish.
  10. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  11. Bake for 35 minutes or until corn is bubbling and corn bread topping is done.

Jiffy Corn Casserole


This is a play on a recipe I got years ago from a package of Jiffy corn muffin mix. It’s yummy! Corn casserole makes a great side dish to serve with your Thanksgiving meal or any time of year, actually. It’s wonderful with barbecued meat or chicken. It’s really easy to make and tastes oh-so-delicious! When I take it to potlucks, it gets gobbled up pretty quick. You could also add ½ to ¾ cup of sugar for a sweet corn casserole. The kids love it that way!

JIFFY CORN CASSEROLE

  • 1 box (8.5 oz.) Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz.) cream-style corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 11×7-inch casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, corn kernels, creamed corn, sour cream, eggs, and corn muffin mix.
  3. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until center is firm.
  5. Remove from oven and top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

NOTE:

  • You can omit the eggs if you like. The eggs make the dish a little lighter but it turns out perfectly fine without them.
  • This casserole can be made a day ahead. Prepare the recipe up to Step 3, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, take the casserole out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to bring it closer to room temperature, then continue with Step 4.

Corn Chowder

Pinky's Pantry | Corn Chowder
What could be more satisfying than a hearty bowl of corn chowder? Corn chowder is an American soup with recipes for it dating back to the 1800’s. It’s delicious made with fresh corn kernels when corn is in season. But when corn isn’t in season, you can still turn out a delicious pot using canned corn.

I started adding carrots to my corn chowder just as a way to sneak more veggies into my kids’ diets, but you could omit the carrots if you prefer. Sometimes I leave them out (as pictured below) and the soup still turns out fabulous.
Corn Chowder | Pinky's Pantry

CORN CHOWDER

  • 8 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 5 cups canned chicken broth
  • 1-1½ lbs. yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 ears of corn, kernels removed (about 6 cups fresh corn kernels)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) half-and-half or milk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1. Cook bacon in a large heavy stock pot over moderate heat until crisp.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Set aside.
  3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from pot, then add garlic, onion, celery, and carrots.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion becomes translucent.
  5. Add broth, potatoes, and thyme and simmer, covered, until potatoes are just tender.
  6. Stir in corn kernels, half-and-half, salt, and pepper.
  7. Simmer, uncovered, about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Remove sprigs of thyme before serving and garnish with crispy bacon.

NOTE:  If corn is not in season, lessen the chicken broth to 3 cups and replace the fresh corn with 2 cans whole kernel corn, undrained, plus 2 cans cream-style corn.

Cornbread Trifle

Cornbread Trifle | Pinky's Pantry
I needed a side-dish to take to a barbecue. Well what could be better than cornbread and a veggie salad? Enter Cornbread Trifle. This recipe has a lot of my favorite components for barbecue side dishes. Plus it looks so beautiful all layered up in your trifle bowl. It’s guaranteed to wow everyone with its gorgeous looks and just wait till you taste it! It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser for sure!

This recipe makes a lot so you’ll need a large trifle bowl. Otherwise, be prepared to have some leftover veggies (which are great tossed with chopped lettuce and ranch dressing the next day).

CORNBREAD TRIFLE

  • 1 box cornbread mix (I used Krusteaz Honey Cornbread mix)
  • sour cream (amount according to milk called for on cornbread package)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, depending on how spicy you want it
  • 1 lb. thick sliced bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ small red onion or sweet vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans (15-oz. each) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15-oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 8 ozs. smoked gouda cheese, grated (If you can’t get smoked gouda, you could use smoked cheddar or even just plain sharp cheddar cheese)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Make the Cornbread:

  1. Preheat oven as per package directions and grease an 8 or 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Cut off the stem end of the jalapeños, then remove the inner membrane and seeds.
  3. Finely mince the jalapeños.
  4. Prepare batter following the directions behind the box, but replace the milk with sour cream to make the cornbread moister.
  5. Add ¼ cup milk and the minced jalapeños to the rest of the ingredients for the cornbread batter.
  6. Bake according to the time and temperature directed on the package.
  7. Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  8. Cut cooled cornbread into approximately 1-inch cubes.

Prepare the Bacon:

  1. Lay the bacon slices on a foil covered sheet pan.
  2. Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes or until brown and crispy.
  3. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool.
  4. Stack the crispy bacon and cut them into ½-inch pieces.
  5. Set aside ¼ cup of bacon pieces for garnish.

Make the Dressing:

  1. Place the mayonnaise and ranch dressing in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together until smooth and well blended.

Prepare the Veggies:

  1. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, corn, black beans, and cilantro.
  2. Stir to combine well.

Assemble the Trifle Layers:

  1. Place half the cornbread on the bottom of a large trifle bowl. Press down lightly.
  2. Top with half the veggies.
  3. Next half the cheese.
  4. Then half the bacon. Don’t touch the ¼ cup you reserved for garnish.
  5. End with half the dressing.
  6. Repeat the layers a second time ending in dressing.
  7. Garnish the top with the green onions and reserved ¼ cup bacon.
  8. Chill in refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

[Adapted from 52 Ways to Cook]

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

Corn Dog Muffins | Pinky's Pantry
Summer is State Fair time in California. The State Fair makes me think of corn dogs. I love corn dogs. Corn dogs bring back warm, fuzzy memories of state fairs and carnivals past. There’s nothing like wandering around the fair taking in all the sights and smells with a corndog-on-a-stick smothered in mustard clutched in your hand.

I saw a recipe for mini corn dog muffins on the Kraft website and thought they looked like fun so I decided to try it. They turned out so good! The Kraft recipe has you poke a little cube of cheese into the muffin next to the hotdog. That actually sounds yummy to me too! I’m going to have to try that next time! I remember eating cheese dogs when I was a kid. A cheese dog was basically a hotdog-on-a-stick but with a log of gooey, melty cheese in place of the hotdog. They were oh-so-good!

If you can’t make it to the State Fair, give these tasty little muffins a try. They’re baked so they’re a healthier alternative to a deep-fried corn dog, but they’re every bit as nostalgic and addictive!

MINI CORN DOG MUFFINS

  • 1 pkg. (15 oz.) cornbread muffin mix (I used Krusteaz)
  • 6 beef hotdogs, each cut into 4 pieces (about 1-inch)
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease 24 mini muffin cups.
  2. Prepare cornbread muffin mix according to package directions.
  3. Fill muffin cups half full with cornbread batter.
  4. Push a piece of hotdog down center of batter in each cup.
  5. Bake 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin pan.
  7. Serve warm with dijonnaise.

DIJONNAISE

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. dijon mustard
  1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl.
  2. Blend well with a wire whisk.

Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins | Pinky's Pantry
My Old Goat made his special Chili con Carne for dinner tonight. He doesn’t really cook but he does have a small repertoire of dishes that he makes when I’m not around and kitchen duty falls on his shoulders. He makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich, his Chili con Carne is really yummy, and he’s especially proud of his burgers. He keeps tweaking his burger recipe trying “to perfect it” as he says, which is really funny to me because I think it’s already perfect as it is.

Anyway, I was actually home this evening but Old Goat suddenly got a hankering to make Chili so I told him to go ahead and knock himself out. I could always use a break from fixing dinner. Not that I got a break. Instead I ended up making some Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins to serve with his chili. These muffins are a great accompaniment to chilis, barbecues, even soups. They’re really easy to make because you start with a boxed cornbread mix. Give them a try at your next chili cook-off. I promise you’ll love ’em!

BACON CHEDDAR CORNBREAD MUFFINS

(Makes 16-18 muffins)

  • 1 (15-oz.) box Krusteaz honey cornbread mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together milk, oil, egg and full box cornbread mix until moistened.
  3. Stir in corn, bacon, cheese and green onion.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes.

Fresh Corn Salad

Fresh Corn Salad | Pinky's PantryI love corn. I love it boiled, baked, grilled, on the cob, off the cob, plain, or with butter and seasonings. Any way you fix it, it’s all yummy to me. And I found a really easy way to shuck corn that gets rid of every bit of silk, too. You can watch how to do it here. Who knew?

I first tried this salad at a party at my sister’s house. It was made by Nadja, a friend of my sister, who got the original recipe from Epicurious. It’s easy and delicious. The lime juice imparts a bright flavor that’s so refreshing on a hot summer’s day. It’s no wonder this tasty salad has fast become a family favorite.
Fresh Corn Salad | Pinky's Pantry

FRESH CORN SALAD

  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels, cut from cob
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • juice of 1 whole lime
  • grated lime zest from the lime
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Combine corn, avocado, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients to make the dressing.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently.

P.S. – You’re right, there is NO avocado in the salads pictured. I completely forgot to add the avocado before I took the photos and after I tossed the avocado in, the family devoured the salad before I could take new pictures. Sigh…. Oh well…. You get the picture (pun intended).