HOT CORN CASSEROLE
Unlike most casseroles, this version has no limit on what it can do. Pair it with a bowl of tortilla or pita chips and it's a hot corn dip for a crowd and the appetizer that will keep people talking. Slide it onto the table with dinner, and it's the side dish that pairs with everything from grilled chicken to burgers. It even works as a condiment for tacos, grilled sausages, and nachos.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
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1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks and at room temperature
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced pickled jalapeños
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the corn, garlic, paprika, salt, and black pepper, and cook for 1 minute more.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Scatter the cream cheese, cheddar, pickled jalapeños, and scallions evenly over the corn and stir until all the cheese is thoroughly melted.
Bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Top with the cilantro and serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.
Grilling instructions: This casserole can be made entirely on an outdoor grill. Heat the grill to medium (about 350 degrees). Place the butter in the skillet and heat covered on the grill for 3 minutes. Proceed with the recipe, cooking the casserole covered the entire time except for the occasional stirring.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.