“You are not cooking from a Sports Illustrated recipe.”
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 this hot, cheesy corn dip over the 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 I’m making Primanti’s sandwiches), 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, gooey, 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 cheesy corn dip—that’s a satisfying evening.)
The original recipe was fantastic for serving a crowd, but a little heavy on the stomach for anyone who’s not a linebacker. My version is much more veggie-studded, 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: hot, cheesy corn dip is 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.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil, divided
- 1 16-ounce bag frozen corn, thawed
- 1 sweet onion or yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, de-seeded, and minced
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 8-ounce block Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup (8 ounces; 227 grams) plain Greek yogurt, any fat percentage
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces; 113 grams) mayonnaise
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels are picking up spots of toasted color and begin to "pop" as they roast in the pan. (Note: if you didn't thaw your corn in advance, because hey, life happens, this step will take longer. But your corn will still get to its toasty state.)
- Transfer the corn to a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, green onions, and garlic.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, 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.
- With a spatula, spread the dip in a large, shallow casserole dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the dip is fully heated through and bubbling around the edges.
- Serve warm with tortilla chips, toasted baguette slices, or crudité.