What’s cooking today: Sweetcorn and beans bake

What’s cooking today: Sweetcorn and beans bake
Tony Jackman’s sweetcorn and beans bake with bell peppers and chillies. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

The South African favourite, which grows prolifically in this country and is a running gag in the Madam & Eve cartoon strip, is given a Mexican treatment in this original bake.

This is one of those recipes that invented itself while I was browsing for ingredients and ideas. I’d promised to make a vegetable dish for supper, and in the veggie aisle I spotted mielies. I stared at them and thought, why wouldn’t they work in a bake, in the way of a potato bake, but with whole corn on the cob as the centrepiece? I could picture them floating golden and shiny in a sauce of some kind, so that mental image was my starting point. What you see in the photo is pretty much what I was imagining, only sharper and with better light.

My next thought was Mexican. Beans. Capcisum. Chillies. Sour Cream. Cheese. The result made us very happy, a real winner of a simple one-pot supper. Great as a family meal, the kids will love it, if they don’t mind a chilli hit; or you could make it milder or leave the chillies out. But my way has always been to presume that kids have palates too, so our kids grew up eating pretty much everything.

The Mielie Lady might like to try this recipe, though I suspect it might not be favoured by catapult-wielding “Mom”, but it was devoured with relish this week in our house.

(Serves 2 or 4)


4 mielies/ corn on the cob

1 red onion, halved and sliced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 green chillies, seeded and chopped

1 x 400 g can red kidney beans, drained

½ cup green beans, diced

1 red pepper, diced

175 g sour cream

750 ml vegetable stock

2 cups Cheddar cheese

Salt and black pepper

2 Tbsp cornflour dissolved in 3 Tbsp milk

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Preheat the oven to 220℃.

Dissolve the cornflour in milk. Mix the sour cream, vegetable stock and grated cheese in a jug or bowl and stir in the dissolved cornflour. Season with salt and black pepper.

Grease the bottom of a deep oven dish with cooking spray. Lay out the sliced red onion and sprinkle the chopped garlic and chillies over. Add the diced green beans and red pepper. Scatter the drained red kidney beans over.

Pour the sauce over and use a wooden spoon to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

Remove the husks and fibres from the mielies and place them neatly in the sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Twice during the cook, remove it from the oven and turn the mielies 45 degrees.

Garnish with coriander. Serve them with crusty bread or flatbreads such as tortillas. Here’s my recipe for those. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing. 


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