Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cooking: Corn Pudding

This Thanksgiving side of corn pudding turned out so fantastic. The flavor and the texture was just so good. I was so happy with it and my guests gobbled it up. In fact, I liked it so much that I'm making it a permanently dish for Thanksgiving. I might even make it for other holidays. Yes, I like it that much.

The recipe starts with 2 lbs of frozen corn, thawed. Puree it in the food processor with milk until smooth.

It should look something like this.
Then put it in a stand up mixer and add the corn puree. With the paddle attachment on, add the 6 egg yolks one by one until they're all incorporated. Then add the sugar and butter.
On the side, I had chopped up 2 red bell peppers and 5 jalapenos finely. You can use less of each but I liked the added texture, flavor, and color. I also added another 1 lb bag of corn but left the kernels whole. I liked the idea of seeing the corn kernels throughout the dish.
I also shredded 0.5 lbs of pepperjack cheese. Pepperjack is really similar to monterey jack but has more spice. Add the cheese and the peppers to the corn mix. Lastly, add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder).
Take the mixture and add it to another bowl.
Using the stand up mixer again, whisk up the egg whites until it has stiff peaks. A traditional way to test it is to turn it upside down on your head. You know, if you dare. Otherwise, you can just turn upside and if nothing slides out, it's ready.
Take the egg whites and fold it unto the corn mixture. Be careful and try not to over work it.
Take your dish and butter it up. A nice trick that I like to use is to use the wrapper of the butter and rub it all over the dish. The leftover butter usually is enough to coat a dish. Since I added so many other ingredients, I needed a much larger dish and about 2 tbsp of butter.
Pour the corn mixture into the dish and level it off on top.
Bake it in the oven until the top is browned and the mixture is solid. Try to serve it while warm so it stays fluffy. If you let it rest, it will start to deflate a bit. It will still taste good but won't be as light.
This corn pudding was just so absolutely amazing. I loved the flavor. The corn was naturally sweet while the jalapenos added a good spice. The texture was soft and fluffy but the whole corn kernels, the jalapenos, and the red bell peppers added a nice contrast. Lastly, the beautiful rainbow of colors when I cut into it was amazing. Everything about this dish was perfect.

My corn pudding dish was adapted on the recipe below.
Corn Pudding
2 pounds frozen corn kernels, thawed
Whole milk as needed (about 1 cup)
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Chihuahua,* Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese
1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
Half of a red bell pepper, cut into strips

*Chihuahua, a white cow's-milk cheese, also known as asadero or Oaxaca cheese, becomes soft and stringy when heated and is therefore good for melting. An unaged Monterey Jack is a good substitute.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and set aside. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the corn with only enough milk to make a smooth puree, not to exceed 1 cup. With the machine running, add egg yolks, one at a time, and process 30 seconds after each addition. With the machine running, add the sugar a little at a time and continue processing until mixture is lighter in color and sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add butter and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder; fold into corn mixture. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into corn mixture, alternating with the shredded cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish and garnish with strips of chile and red bell pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chef Ravago shares his tips with Epicurious:
·The poblano chile is dark green, five to six inches long, and triangular in shape, with a wide stem end. Strips of roasted poblanos are called rajas. Roast until charred and blistered in a broiler or over an open flame, using tongs. Put in a paper bag and allow them to sweat for 10 to 15 minutes. Using rubber gloves, peel off the charred outer skin. (Do not peel roasted chiles under running water or most of the roasted flavor will be lost.) Cut off the stem end and slice the peppers lengthwise into thin, 1/4-inch strips. Be careful not to rub your eyes, nose, or mouth when handling chiles, as they will burn.
·You can use any combination of vegetables in the corn pudding, Ravago says, as long as the quantities are the same as for the corn. Just make sure the vegetables are fresh, as frozen will give off too much water.
·The corn pudding is delicious served warm or at room temperature, but Ravago suggests baking as close to serving as possible, as the soufflĂ©like consistency will fall as it cools. • The corn pudding can also be made in individual serving sizes. Simply bake in small ramekins.

Reprinted with permission from Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art
© 2005
April 2007
By Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, and Virginia B. Wood
2007-03-28 11:57:21.0

8 comments:

  1. Haha, what happens if you turn it upside down and it all falls out? You have to start again?

    This looks amazing and I have to make it! Do you think a stand mixer is absolutely necessary, or can I do most of these ingredients by hand and use my hand blender for the egg white mixing? Thanks!!!

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  2. @FF: You don't really have to do the turn upside test for stiff egg whites. When it forms stiff peaks, it's ready.

    I think you can absolutely mix it by hand. The less additions you add to it, the easier it'll be. Though I think the additions were quite nice. However, definitely use the hand blender for the egg whites.

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  3. Glorious dish of corn-holio!! I no longer need TP for my...

    Looks awesome. Can you please make it for one of our gatherings sometime? Maybe next year. :P
    Or will it solely only be at your Thanksgivings. Sigh.

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  4. @TC: I could make it but do you really want me to make a vegetable dish?

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  5. I'd probably rather you bake a CAKE. :P
    Veggies are always welcome in my diet though.

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  6. It seems like such a sweet dish already from the sugar (and of course the corn) -- I bet T.C. would find it perfectly dessertlike!

    I can't wait to make a version of this. I think that's happening this weekend.

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  7. @Witzel: I thought the same with the sugar. But because it's baked, I didn't want to mess with the chemical reactions happening in the oven. The jalapenos and cheese really balanced it out.

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  8. I like corn a lot. Jalapenos and cheese are also a very welcomed combination to me.

    Sweet or not, I was just thinking the dish would be very well received (including myself) at a future gathering. :)

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