Late Summer Corn Pudding
For many Texans, the seasons are categorized by either what sport is on TV or what animal you’re allowed to shoot. I don’t hunt or enjoy watching football (even though I’m a proud Lone Star lady to my core), so my calendar is organized a little differently: my year syncs up with what's growing best in the garden! Right now, we are deep into corn season, and I couldn't be happier about it. There isn't anything much better than late summer corn- it's so sweet and juicy that it barely needs any cooking at all! But man oh man does it SING in my Late Summer Corn Pudding. This is the ultimate side dish for this time of year (and really anytime of year- frozen thawed corn will do the trick too). I start by slicing corn kernels straight off the cob and sauté them with onions and peppers before folding everything into a light egg batter. Grated sharp cheddar cheese and some fresh, fragrant basil take this to the next level of tastiness. This recipe is loosely inspired by Ina Garten's Sagaponack Corn Pudding (an old fave), but I've lightened it up and added some extra kick with half a jalapeno and some sweet red bell pepper (feel free to add a whole minced jalapeno if you'd like even more heat). I also swap in reduced fat milk (whole milk works just fine too), Greek yogurt, and honey in place of cream, ricotta and sugar to make my version a little cleaner, but no less delicious. Coconut oil and corn?? You bet- they pair beautifully! This pudding is baked in a water bath soufflé style to encourage even cooking and minimize the risk of cracking- sounds fancy, but this is super simple to do. Basically, the smaller dish is placed inside a larger one and then water is poured into the larger dish to rise halfway up the side of the small dish. Make sure to pour the water in once both pans are situated safely in the oven or you will risk sloshing water all over your kitchen and into your pudding! This pudding can easily be made up to one day ahead- just cover it with plastic wrap and chill until your ready to reheat it gently in the oven. It is perfect as a brunch, lunch or dinner offering! I paired it with some BBQ chicken the other night and the combo was divine. Celebrate corn season with this delectable dish! The proof is in the pudding, as they say!
prep time: ~30 min. cook time: ~40 min. serves: 6
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
3 large scallions, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
3 cups fresh corn kernels, sliced from about 3 large ears of corn
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 cup grated aged white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil cut into chiffonade, plus extra for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375° with the rack set in the middle. Heat the coconut oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, red onion and green onion and cook 5 min, stirring often. Add the corn, the jalapeño, and 1 tsp salt and sauté 5 minutes more. Set the cooked corn mixture aside to cool while you prep the batter.
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, yogurt and honey together until smooth. Add to the wet ingredients the cornmeal, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper and stir to combine. Add the corn mixture, 1/2 cup of the grated cheddar, and the basil to batter and fold until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9”x13” (or similar sized) baking dish, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese, then place that baking dish into a larger one to fit. Place the two baking dishes on the middle rack of the hot oven, slide out the rack, and carefully pour enough water into the larger dish to come up the sides of the “pudding” dish halfway. Be careful not to pour any into the pudding! Slide the rack back in and bake the pudding for 35-45 minutes, or until it is set in the center and the top is browned. If you notice that it’s getting TOO brown, loosely cover the pudding with a sheet of foil.
Remove the cooked pudding from the oven (and very carefully from the larger dish once cool enough) and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving hot or warm, garnished with a little more basil if desired. *The pudding can be baked up to 1 day ahead then wrapped with plastic and stored in the fridge. To reheat, remove the plastic and place in a 300° oven 10-15 minutes, until warmed through.