Sunday, August 30, 2009

Creamed Corn and Basil Baked Pudding

While looking through the fridge for something to cook, I noticed there were 4 ears of sweet corn and a great big pile of fresh basil I had bought that needed to be used. So I looked for recipe ideas for corn and basil, and adapted one that I found.

It turned out great, a real summer treat! This would make a great side dish. It is also vegetarian (not vegan though). Make it for your next potluck and you're sure to get rave reviews!

Ingredients:
  • 4 ears fresh sweet corn, stripped as for creamed corn (see below)
  • 4 oz. fresh basil, trimmed & chopped
  • 1 med. white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese (Swiss, Cheddar...)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried oregano (to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried thyme (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg if you do not keep nutmegs in for grating -- but you should!)
  • salt to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3 Tbsp. flour

Method:

Begin by cutting the kernels off the fresh sweet corn. Do not cut all the way down to the nib, just try to get over half the kernel or so as you slice down the cob. Once all the kernels are stripped off, turn the knife over and use the dull edge to scrape/press down on what is left of the corn kernels, squeezing the rest of the kernel and juice out.

Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic and toss it in with the corn kernels.

Remove the stems from the basil and coarsely chop the remaining leaves, you should have 1 to 1-1/2 cups of chopped basil.

Place the oil and butter in a large skillet. Toss in the pepper, oregano, thyme and nutmeg. Heat on high, while stirring, until the oil is hot but not smoking. Now reduce the heat to medium high and toss the onions into the skillet. Continue to heat the onions, tossing occasionally, until they are beginning to become translucent. Now toss in the creamed corn and garlic and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the corn is hot. Turn the heat off and allow to cool.

While the corn mixture cools, in a large bowl combine the milk, eggs and flour and whisk vigorously until the mixture is foamy with no visible lumps. Stir in the grated Swiss or Cheddar cheese. Now stir in the cooled corn and onion mixture. Add the chopped basil, stir, test the flavor and add salt if needed.

Place the mixture in a greased baking dish, sprinkle the grated Parmesan on top, and bake in a 375F oven for 40 minutes or until done.

Allow to cool for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

You can scoop it out with a serving spoon, or if you prefer you might want to cut it into 9 squares and set those out on plates to serve.

This could also be baked in 6 to 8 individual ramekins. This would make a very nice way to serve it when you are having company for dinner. It would probably need somewhere between 25 to 35 minutes to bake in that case -- check at 25 minutes.

You can use less oil, and skip the butter if you prefer. I just happened to use a white onion but other onions or even leeks or shallots would probably work as well. I would recommend sticking to mild cheeses: mild Swiss, mild or medium Cheddar, pepper jack might be interesting. I think that feta or blue cheese would detract from the basil flavor, but that's just me. If you try one of those and it's fabulous, please let me know!

Enjoy!

4 comments:

silvergirl said...

yum. this looks way better than the "Mexican" cornbread i made the other night... but then, you are a better cook than i, so there you have it! We might have to re-make this when Nat and i visit soon!! he loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooves corn. anything with corn. and i, well- i like anything with cheese, as we all know.

Mary said...

This looks fantastic. I'm definitely giving it a try!

Traci said...

I'm always looking for ways to better utilize my herb garden so I'll try this. Plus I love corn puddings.

Abi said...

I think I may have to try this. Thanks for sharing it at the carnival.