I don’t cook a lot with corn because mostly we just boil it ever-so-gently and gnaw it off the cob. Sometimes I’ll toss some into salsa or stir a cup of kernels into cornbread, but my need for corn recipes is, in general, pretty slight. Recently, though, I was staring down a bag of corn I’d blanched and frozen the summer before. And seeing as how the hens are laying like crazy right now, I reached back in my memory to a dish my mom used to make. She called it Corn Pudding. It had eggs and corn and onions and butter and milk. And I remember liking it very much as a kid. As I kept digging, though, I found this delightful concoction that I began to get very excited about. It’s credited to celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. And it will be my go-to corn dish from here on out. It’s simple to make, delicious and fairly flexible in terms of using what you have on hand. I threw in garden chives and thawed frozen green peppers from last summer’s garden. Here’s the genius part: You toss everything into a blender then pour it into a baking dish. Voila! Dinner.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 3 cups corn kernels (about 2-3 ears of fresh corn)
- 1/2 cup Gruyère or sharp cheddar, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. diced pepper (use jalapeño for a kick; green pepper for a milder taste)
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- butter to grease your pan(s)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place corn, cheese, half-and-half, eggs, peppers, salt and black pepper into a blender (a blender can achieve a smoother mixture than a food processor). Blend for about 1 minute. Add chives and pulse, just until mixed in.
- Grease 4 one-cup soufflé dishes or ramekins or one large gratin dish. Pour mixture evenly among your pans. Place them on a baking tray. At this point, you can refrigerate for several hours before baking.
- Bake the soufflé for 25-30 minutes. Remove once it is puffy, browned and set. Serve immediately (the soufflé begins to fall as soon as it cools).