Recently, my husband and I had reason to celebrate, and we just happened to already be on vacation in Durango. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, celebrations mean a juicy, rare steak. The Ore House—a locals’ favorite since it opened in 1972—fit my requirements. The menu of USDA-certified prime steaks, organic poultry, and sustainable seafood is admirable, especially in a mountain town.

But it was the creamed corn that stole my attention. Baked in a mini cast-iron pan, this veggie option is topped with a just-golden-enough cornbread crust. I soon forgot about my rib-eye—which was a shame, as it was well seasoned and suitably rare—in favor of scraping every kernel of corn out of the pan.

Bonus: On the trip back, we detoured through Olathe, home of Colorado’s sweet corn, and picked up a dozen ears from a roadside stand. At home, I blanched each for four minutes in boiling water, dipped them in ice water, cut the kernels off, and froze them. The result? Bags of frozen corn just waiting for me to experiment with recreating the Ore House’s recipe (below) in my own kitchen.

Ore House’s Creamed Corn

(Makes 4 individual cast-iron pans, serves 6 to 8)

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound sweet corn kernels

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup Chardonnay

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat and add corn, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Once the corn has heated up, add Chardonnay and heavy cream. Cook until the liquid has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Turn off heat and add blue cheese and cheddar cheese. Mix until the blue cheese has melted. Cool the creamed corn for portioning.

Corn Bread Topping

1 cup corn meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup milk

1 whole egg

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk together well.

Place 1 cup of creamed corn into an oiled cast iron serving dish and level with a spoon. Use a 2-ounce ladle to add topping and spread to coat evenly over top of creamed corn. Repeat with remaining dishes. Place in a 400-degree oven and cook until heated through and corn bread topping is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

147 E. College Dr., Durango, 970-247-5707

Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.