Ken's Mom's Corn Casserole

This is a recipe that my mom got from a life long friend of ours (and also my nursery school teacher) back in the early 70's or so. I've been eating it regularly ever since. I still have the chip on my front tooth from back in my college days when I was consuming a batch a bit too eagerly and I bit down on the fork...

It's undergone surprisingly few modifications over all that time, but a few none the less. I now use chilies in adobo and tomatillo salsa instead of the original Ortega brand chilies. Those can be found at any Mexican market, and even now in many super markets. I also mix in about 25% polenta with the corn meal. Using fresh corn is a real treat, but failing that, I find that frozen corn is often better (and easier) than canned.

Lastly, making anything but a double recipe is (for me) usually plain folly. What isn't consumed the first day is great for leftovers for a few days to follow.

One problem with this dish is that it's quite savory and heavy. So there aren't many things that really accompany it well, especially in the area of main dishes. Poultry works ok. Or something saucy like ratattoui. But it's often just great with a nice salad and red wine.


  1. 1 16-oz can of corn, drained OR about 1/2 pkg frozen corn, preferably slightly thawed for convenience OR 2-3 ears fresh corn cut from cob
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1-2 Tbsp butter, melted
  4. 1 4-oz can Ortega diced green chilies AND/OR 1-2 finely chopped chilies from canned chipotle chilies with abado sauce (spicy!!) AND/OR 1 4-oz can Mexican tomatillo sauce AND/OR salsa of your choice (I like Ms. Renfro's green)
  5. 1 Cup corn meal (or mixture of polenta and corn meal. 3:1 corn meal to polenta works well)
  6. 1/2 lb cheddar and/or jack cheese, grated
  7. 8-oz sour cream
  8. [optional: 1 4-oz can black olives. Sounds silly but it's pretty good]
  9. Salt to taste

Cooking instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In medium flat baking dish combine all ingredients. Order makes only minor difference, but here's how I usually do it:
  1. Beat eggs
  2. Add: corn meal/polenta, corn, sour cream, chilies/salsas, and salt.
  3. Mix well. Consistency varies, but should be thick although easy to work
  4. Add grated cheese and as things get harder to mix, add melted butter
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a knife comes out cleanly
  6. Eat all in one sitting