Busted. The crinkled and yellowing page stuck on the fridge for reference wasn’t from Gourmet or Saveur, nor even a printout from Epicurious, but an Emeril Lagasse story on his Super Bowl prep after the New Orleans Saints’ 2006 comeback run. Hey, when you live with a sports nut, these unexpected rarities find their way onto your desk. And they must be tested to see what kind of goodies make the grade for a mention in SI.
Judging from the number of times I’ve made the hot corn dip from the article over the past five years, I’d say Emeril knows his clientele very well. My Super Bowl menus don’t see many repeats from year to year (unless the Steelers are playing for the title, and then you know what I’m making), but this dip manages to get itself on the buffet table time and again.
Like French onion, seven-layer, artichoke spinach, and buttermilk blue cheese, Emeril’s creamy, cheesy, vegetable-studded mess should be on the short list for nomination into the Party Dip Hall of Fame. The sneaky corn dip even worms its way into parties that have nothing to do with sporting events and gatherings where there’s nary a guy in sight; I was caught with the SI page on my fridge when prepping the dip for a girls-only Love Actually viewing the week before Christmas, and we ladies scraped that casserole dish clean. (Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and corn dip—that’s a satisfying evening.)
The original recipe was a little too meager to serve a crowd, though it might have comfortably fed a single linebacker. My version is much more ample, a little less mayonnaisey, and a little more appropriate for Northerners. Pssst, Emeril, the Super Bowl is played in the middle of winter. Though I love fresh corn as much as the next farm-to-tabler, maybe frozen corn is the better bet for football season?
Insert your clichéd football metaphor here: the dip’s a touchdown, a blitz, a soaring spiral into the end zone. It’s the party MVP, an All-Star. Excessive celebration may occur. Give this thing a trophy.
Hot and Cheesy Corn Dip
Adapted from Sports Illustrated
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Makes one 9×13-inch casserole dish
- 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- 1 2-lb. (32-oz.) bag frozen corn, thawed
- 1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch green onions, minced
- 2 jalapeño or Fresno peppers, de-seeded and minced
- kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound (16 oz.) pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 17.6-oz. tub 2 percent Greek yogurt
- 1 cup mayonnaise
Preheat the oven to 350˚.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels are slightly toasted and smelling slightly buttery and roasty. Transfer the corn to a large mixing bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, green onions, and hot peppers. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook until the onions are translucent and tender, 5-7 minutes.
Add the cooked vegetables to the corn and mix in the black pepper, shredded cheese, yogurt, and mayonnaise. Add a few more sprinkles of salt if necessary.
Transfer the dip to a 9×13-inch casserole dish or lasagna pan—or another oven-safe dish that’s fairly shallow and wide. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the dip is fully heated through and bubbling around the edges.
Serve warm with tortilla chips or toasted baguette slices.