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Monday, June 30, 2014

Grill Friends

As we head into the peak summer grilling months, let's talk sides. So there's potato salad, of course.   Cole slaw...natch.  Baked beans, for sure.  And then, maybe corn-on-the-cob or a green-salad-that's-sure-to-be-ignored.

Sure there's all, or some of the above, and you could go all traditional and do the corn-on-the-cob thing, but that's because you don't yet know about corn pudding.  Yes, pudding.  Now, I never met a pudding I didn't like...sweet, paraphrase Cookie Monster, me LOVE pudding!

I became obsessed with corn pudding in particular after having it at regularly at our favorite rib joint, Redbones, in Somerville, Massachusetts.  I had never known of corn pudding, or, savory puddings in general, I guess, and their corn pudding was a revelation.   Beautifully souffle-like, yet wonderfully cheesy, with a kick of jalapeño.  Corn pudding perfection.  So, I searched high and low for a way to replicate it, as a Thanksgiving side dish actually, but the recipes I tried never made the cut.  Then, last summer, my beloved Food52 delivered the goods, with a pudding that is pitch perfect.  Airy and light, and packed with flavor, it's a winner.

So, with the Fourth coming up and summer corn at its peak...I'm thinking it's the perfect time to bust some new moves on the same old bbq sides.  Corn pudding.  Who knew? Now, you do.

My only adjustment to Lizthechef's recipe is the addition of minced jalapeño, or a couple shakes of it an homage to the good old Redbones version I adored.

Spicy Corn Pudding
adapted from Lizthechef via Food52  
(serves 4)

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob
4 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar + 2 tablespoons for topping
couple fat pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large fresh basil leaves

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the corn, scallions, and jalapeño and sauté for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly; add flour, honey, milk, salt and pepper.

4.  Add corn-scallion-jalapeno mixture to the bowl + 1/3 cup of the grated cheese.  Mix well.

5.  Roll basil leaves into a cigar shape and slice into thin chiffonade.  Add to the corn mixture and stir.

6.  Pour mixture into a buttered glass or ceramic pie plate or a square baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of cheddar.

7.  Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and golden.  Pudding must rest for 15 minutes after coming out of the oven.


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