This is a very easy recipe, but you do need a Corn Stick Pan to make it work (get two; they’re cheap and you can make more sticks at a time). The taste of these corn sticks baked in these little pans in a very hot oven is the closest cornbread ever comes to being corn. I’ve put frozen corn in the ingredients, but certainly you should use fresh corn off the cob if it’s summer and you’ve got some.
Cheesy Corn Sticks
makes about 1 dozen
1 tablespoon bacon grease or lard (in a pinch, peanut oil or Crisco will work, but don’t use butter)
1 cup corn meal, preferably stone-ground
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus 1 yolk, beaten well
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 small shallot, minced, about 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
Heat oven to 450º and brush 2 corn stick pans with bacon grease or lard. Place in oven and heat until smoking, about 5 minutes.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, add eggs and then buttermilk, whisking briefly but thoroughly after each, then add cheese, shallot, and corn and stir with a cake spatula, making sure to incorporate any dry bits from the bottom.
Pour batter into corn stick pan cups, filling each within just a hair of the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, immediately run a sharp paring knife around the edges of the sticks, and carefully remove (the sooner you get them out, the easier the pans will be to clean). Serve asap (which means anything else you’re serving for dinner should be ready before you pull them out of the oven; you see why I suggested you get 2 pans).
Makes about 12 sticks. (They’re great with Vegetarian Chili.)