Creamed Corn in Chili Butter
From Betty Fussell, Crazy for Corn, Harper Perennial, 1995
4 dried chilies, such as ancho, mulato, or chipotle
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
6 to 8 ears fresh corn (3 to 4 cups kernels)
Discard the stems of the chilies. Break them open, shake out the seeds, and tear out the veins. Tear the chilies in large pieces and toast them in a heavy skillet over low heat, holding the pieces flat with a spatula as you toast (1 or 2 minutes a side). Pulverize them in a spice grinder and reserve.
Melt the butter in the skillet, add the onion, and saute until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, seasonings, and the half-and-half and mix well. Stir in the pulverized chilies and let the mixture simmer 2 or 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels and simmer 2 minutes more.