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Shoepeg Corn Casserole

Sometimes I feel like I should disclose that my dad is a heart surgeon. It just seems like a conflict of interest to suggest that you make something that is so full of butter and cream cheese and cheddar cheese without disclosing that someone in my family might gain financially from this recommendation.

Conflict disclosed. Let’s eat.

Shoepeg corn is, I think, a mostly southern thing. Correct me if I am wrong about that. It is a light colored, skinny, little kernel that is very sweet and firm. It is really the very best choice for this dish, but as you can see from my photos, you can throw a can or two of sweet yellow corn in with it, as well. This recipe is just a cousin in the family of Shoepeg recipes that have been floating around for ages. I’ve seen it as a side, and I’ve seen it (without the crackers and cheese) used as a dip with tortilla chips. It is fantastic as a dip. If you go that route, add a little more cream cheese and a little more heat…perhaps some sliced jalapenos.

But the green chiles in this casserole provide just enough heat for a little…ambiance, without making your forehead sweat. This is a very unassuming recipe, I’m sure you will agree. But I’ll have you know that my husband, a fairly restrained and pragmatic eater, hurts himself with gluttony when I make this. You will sneak bites while you are warming it and you will sneak a few more bites while you are loading the dishwasher. It is that kind of good. And, I’m thankful that so many saltines come in a box, because Ford ran off with my stack for the recipe, and as  you can see, they were rendered unusable the moment his hard working little hands touched them.

Recipe for Shoepeg Corn Casserole: (8 servings)

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup butter
½ cup milk
4 (11 ounce) cans shoepeg corn, drained
2 (7 ounce) cans chopped green chiles
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
10 to 12 saltine crackers, crushed
¼ cup butter, melted

Instructions:

1. In a large saucepan, slowly melt the butter and cream cheese with the milk, stirring occasionally, until you have a nice smooth sauce.  Add the corn and green chiles. Continue to heat gently until the corn mixture is hot.

2. Pour the corn mixture into a buttered baking dish which is approximately 12” x 8” large. Scatter the cheese on top of the corn mixture. Use just enough melted butter as is necessary to moisten the cracker crumbs. A very easy way to do this is to crush the crackers in a small re-sealable bag and then simply add melted butter to the bag, seal it, and shake it. Distribute the crumbs evenly over the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Allow the corn to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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