Friday March 15, 2013

If there ever was a cheese that fits perfectly with corn, it would be Fontina. It is similar to Gruyere and Emmental in texture when melted and has a slight nuttiness. But it is the great buttery flavor that makes this cheese not only great with vegetables such as corn, but the first choice in Fonduta’s, which is the Italian version of our Fondue.

Save this recipe for late summer, early fall when you see the abundance of road-side stands popping up selling fresh corn. This dish is quite remarkable when taking that little extra time and effort to boil, bake or cook fresh corn on the grill then cut off the sweet kernels before continuing with this amazingly sweet and salty dish.

Curried Skillet Corn with Fontina

We have livened up the already sweet corn by giving it a smooth kick in the kernel. Although the jalapeno’s give it robustness(is that even a word?), the cheese allows that spice to soften the kick.

1/4 cup butter or margarine butter

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

6 ears corn, kernels cut off (about 3 1/2-4 cups)*

2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half

3 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeno peppers.

1 cup Fontina cheese, cubed

In a large skillet or pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. When melted, add bell pepper and jalapeno peppers. Cook, stirring almost constantly until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the corn, curry powder and vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low and add cream. Stir well and add cheese. Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese is melted. Season to taste and remove from heat and serve hot.

*Use canned corn(drained) or frozen whole kernel as well.

Chef Jim Baley -- The Yankee Chef -- is a noted food columnist, cookbook author and the foremost New England Food Historian. He is a third generation chef and historian and lives in Maine with his wife and four children. He welcomes feedback at theyankeechef@aol.com.