So I'm working on translating a short recipe that I found online. The title calls it バタコチーズライス. I know that バタ is "butter", チーズ is "cheese", and ライス is "rice", but I can't for the life of me figure out what コ is doing in here. Is バタコ referring to something else I'm not catching? All the googling I can muster didn't yield anything useful for "batako" or "bataco", so it doesn't seem to be an ingredient on its own, and it doesn't seem to be acting as an article or particle. Thoughts??
「コ」 is short for 「コーン」 ("corn") here.
This type of shortening is very common in Japanese when the word would get too long without it..
As a fact-based answer, there is nothing much to say besides that コ here stands for コーン (corn). However, I'm pretty sure that the exact word form バタコチーズライス is chosen because it makes a reference to two major characters in the famous children manga/anime series アンパンマン, namely バタコ (a female baker) and チーズ (dog).
This dish would be "Butter Corn-Cheese Rice" in English, something similar to Corn and Rice Casserole!
If the dish is intended to be a play on the names of the famous cartoon series, it could actually just be butter-cheese-rice. The name バタコ is for the young female cook. バタ is no doubt a shortened form of バター which means butter. But バタ is also probably a reference to バタバタする which is a phrase that is used when someone is busy doing a lot of things in busy scattered way...to be flustered which is how the character often acts in the cartoon. コ on the other hand is probably a カタカナ rendering of 子 which is a common ending to female names. So my guess is that it has taken the two charactersバタコさん and チーズ the dog and combined them withライス to get butter cheese rice.