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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Festivity Corn Pudding

As promised yesterday, I am writing about our absolutely delicious Corn Pudding that rounded out dinner last night!

We are growing an heirloom type of corn this year that was given to us by a friend, Art Sayles. He sent us some dried cobs a couple of years ago. We've never grown corn before, and didn't really have the space, but this year, we reclaimed a patch of ground that had been decorative only and amended the soil with compost and mycorrhizae (a beneficial fungus that supports root growth- I've written about this before). We started the corn plants from seed in the house, and transplanted them in batches of 12 plants at a time, two weeks apart. We have 36 stalks...every single corn kernel germinated!
The corn is absolutely beautiful. Art said it's called, "Festivity" which can be eaten as a sweet corn, or dried on the stalk as a decorative corn. I can attest to the beauty, and deliciousness of the corn!
These ears are a week apart in's really interesting how they go from 'white' sweet corn, to a little speckled, to mostly dark purple. they are really beautiful!
The left side of the yard has been an herb/vegetable garden for the past 5 years, but the right side was covered with decorative bark since it does not get as much full sun as the left side. Well, apparently, it's sunny enough to produce a lot of corn!
Anyhow, I had 6 ears total that I had to pick yesterday, so I decided to make a delicious side dish called Corn Pudding. Here's the recipe I used as a guide by Ina Garten- called Sagaponack Corn Pudding
but, I did make some changes. I also cut the recipe in half, since I don't have 8-10 people to feed :)
I cut the kernels off of the corn for about 2 1/2 cups of fresh corn. The cobs went out to the chickens. They like corn, too-cracked and dried or fresh. They also like newly planted corn plants- I learned that the hard way.
I added the kernels to a pan with 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion and 2 tbsp. of butter. I sweated the vegetables for 4 minutes, took them off the heat and let them cool.
In a large bowl, I beat together two of the biggest eggs I had (the girls are still hit-or-miss on large eggs and forget about extra-large at this point in their laying life!) 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. I was completely out of fat free half and half and ricotta, but I figured small curd fat free cottage cheese could be a substitute. I added 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and about 5 large fresh basil leaves, chopped up. After this was all mixed, I slowly mixed in 1/4 cup of cornmeal.

I also sprayed a 6 cup baking ramekin with canola spray and heated the oven to 375 degrees.
I didn't have any sharp cheddar cheese. Kevin doesn't like sharp cheddar, so I usually buy medium or mild or Colby, but I was out of that, too. I did have a block of Pepper Jack, however, so I cut off a chunk of about 3 ounces and shredded that up.
When the corn/onion mixture was cooled, I added it to the egg/milk/cornmeal mix. Then, I added about half of the cheese and mixed it all together. I poured it into the greased ramekin and topped it with the rest of the cheese.
I popped it into a baking pan and filled the pan with enough hot water from the tap to go up the sides of the ramekin halfway. I placed it in the oven, and let the heat do the magic! It took about an hour.

We also had a small rack of St. Louis cut ribs that I had dry rubbed with my homemade rib rub (for another day- it's fantastic) and baked in foil in the oven for 3 hours at 275. I added some steamed zucchini slices tossed with the tomato vinaigrette from yesterday, and voila! Dinner! It was scrumptious! And the purple and yellow and reddish and maroon kernels of the corn mixed with the yellow creamy and cheese-y texture was so pretty, too. I hope you try this recipe- it's pretty easy and you can adapt a lot of vegetables to this version!

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