Almost Cream-Style Corn With Ham Bits

Why call this dish Almost Cream-Style Corn?  It's made with frozen corn.  For me, true cream-style corn is made with fresh sweet corn cut right off the cob, juice and all.  But fresh corn on the cob isn't always in season!  That's when I use frozen corn. 


Bacon adds a nice flavor to cream-style corn.  But I prefer bits and pieces cut from the shank portion of a bone-in hickory ham.  

Perhaps, this is because it's as close as I can get to those deliciously wonderful memories of my grandma's cream-style corn.  She always used the leftover scrapes of a smoked ham, a Virginia smoked ham--and of course, fresh sweet corn cut from the cob.  The steps in this recipe are the same, just a few substitutions--until fresh corn is once again in season.

The Recipe:
Serves 4.  

Ingredients for Almost Cream-Style Corn with Ham Bits:

  • 8 ounces pre-cooked ham bits and pieces (preferably cut off the shank portion of a bone-in hickory smoked ham)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 24 ounces frozen corn
  • 1 cup half and half milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  •  1/2 teaspoon fresh crushed white pepper or to taste
  • Salt to taste


On medium high heat, melt butter in a heavy skillet.  Add ham bits and pieces and brown them on both sides, about 5-6 minutes total.  Set aside several pieces for garnishing.


Mix in corn and cook for about one minutes.  Using a fork, smash 1/4 of the corn kernels to release some of its juices.  Stir in milk and bring to a boil.  Stir in corn starch.  Set heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until a medium thick sauce forms.  Stir occasionally to keep corn from sticking.  

Add the crushed white pepper and salt (to taste) during the last few minutes of cooking.