Monday, August 26, 2013

Savory Corn Pudding

School starts in two days, and I’m too catatonically depressed to say much. But: this was a fantastic dinner! It was all I could do not to make my usual favorite late-summer corn dish, but I’m glad I tried something new. The pudding is delicious: like an herby, cheesey corn-filled soufflé.

The corn stays sweet and burstingly juicy, plus, the whole thing is so cheap and easy to make, and you could add any herbs you like (cilantro would be good, and so would basil).

I’m adding the arugula salad recipe, not because you couldn’t figure it out on your own, but because it really is so simple and delicious. Kind of like another salad, I’m realizing.

Savory Corn Pudding
Serves 4 to 6

This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison’s absolutely beautiful, useful book Local Flavors—a book I turn to constantly at this time of year, when I often have lots of this or that particular, fresh vegetable, without a clear sense of how it’s going to become dinner. She always helps it become dinner. I have mentioned this before, but I can’t say enough good things about the corn zipper, which has turned a job I used to hate (stripping kernels from cob) into one that I almost kind of like.

1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
6 ears sweet corn, cut from the cob (3 cups or so of kernels. DM also has you scrape and reserve the “milk” from the cobs, and add this to the egg mixture, but I forgot.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cream, evaporated milk, or whole milk (I used cream)
1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (I used a sharp cheddar)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped marjoram (or another herb of your liking)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
Freshly ground pepper

1.     Heat the oven to 350 and butter a 6-cup baking dish.
2.     Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat and sauté the onion until it’s soft and lightly colored, about 10 minutes.
3.     Now add the corn to the pan and sauté another minute or two, until it is just tender (DM has you boil it separately in water, I’m not sure why).
4.     Beat the cream into the eggs, then stir in the corn and onion, the cheese, the herbs, and the salt and pepper.
5.     Pour the mixture into the dish, shake a few dashes of paprika over the top, and bake until puffed and golden, around 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Perfect Arugula Salad
Serves 4

6-8 cups very fresh arugula, washed and torn
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) breadcrumbs (Note: if you don’t have any, just put a slice or two of any kind of bread in the blender! But maybe don’t use the dusty cardboard-scented kind from a cardboard can, which will not be tasty here.)
Perfect vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

Put the arugula in a large bowl.

Heat the butter in a smallish pan over medium heat and fry the breadcrumbs, stirring some, and then later more, until they are very brown and toasty, which will take longer than you might imagine (5 or so minutes). Set them aside in a bowl so that they don’t burn in the still-hot pan. Let them cool.

Toss the arugula with dressing to taste, then add the breadcrumbs and parmesan and toss again.

Perfect Vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup

1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram (or oregano, if you prefer)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much are you even paying attention?)

Shake it up in a jar. Store it in the fridge. (This will make lots more than you need for the arugula.)


  1. Anonymous3:55 AM

    Oh! How did summer slip by so fast again?? Pondering this question is what has me awake at this crazy hour. Thanks for keeping me company.

  2. Perfect for dinner tonight. Thanks! (and yes, paying attention ;)

  3. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Thankyou!!!! It's in the oven, the corn is from a can, but then I had everything just waiting and it meant I didn't have to think ;) Thanks for all the recipes you have given us, Catherine!

  4. Catherine,

    School started here 2 weeks ago and I am completely depressed. One thing I did to make myself feel better was go back and re-read your "I am depressed about school starting" posts from previous years. Which reminded me to make jam and made me feel a little better!

    I enjoy your blog so much. I don't know what the fuck we would be eating if it weren't for you. Before I discovered your blog, I basically didn't cook, and now I can make several really good things! Somehow, recipes are only interesting to me when they come with good writing!

    thank you thank you.

  5. dale in denver4:21 PM

    Oh man. That corn pudding looks awesome - cannot wait to try it. With bacon. And gluten free for my kid with celiac - YAY!

  6. Yes, back to school. It's always a relief to come here and be reminded that, oh yes, this is why I feel down. I always feel down as school is about to start, and I'm so overwhelming surrounded by people who are excited that I forget that it's sort of a rocky transition for me, and that I'm not the only one. I always sigh with recognition and then breathe a little easier when I read your "school is starting" post. And then there's the bonus of a recipe and a joke (and yes, we are always paying attention, less if it's not kosher salt, yes). Thank you. Again.


  7. Anonymous1:33 AM

    ... and it was delicious with corn from a can, too!!! (total about 3 cups). My dish was too big and it came out a bit flat, didn't stop it tasting great though. Only it was done after 30 minutes already, lucky I looked...!

  8. Looks good...maybe I will try tonight! I come to your blog for so many, book suggestions, to read about your gorgeous kids. Love your writing, have followed you since BabyCenter days. Thank you for sharing your family. xo

  9. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Totally excellent menu. Happy faces all around my table tonight. Really, who could ask for anything better.

    Also, loved your article re: Birdy and societal expectations that girls be "nice". I also do not want my daughter to be "nice". I know she is working through the issue of social expectations at a new level these days (breaks my heart to recognize this in an 8.5 yr. old). Fortunately she is resilient and has internalized the expectation of her Montessori school: That all people be gracious to each other.

    Thanks for your recipes and wisdom.

    J in VA

  10. dale in denver11:13 AM

    I didn't have bacon to add, but I did have a big red pepper from our backyard garden that I sauted with the onion. (when those are gone, will try this with some roasted green chiles) Also, I had no parsley or marjaram so I used chopped cilantro. My 3 sons loved it - two of them so much that they asked for leftovers in their lunchboxes two days in a row! (and one was the kid with celiac, so hurray all around) Thank you! Thank you!

  11. Anonymous2:33 PM

    I made this for my family last night. All five of us went back for seconds. Fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

  12. This, looks delicious, I will try it out. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. I'm thinking of using this recipe to replace my usual thanksgiving corn pudding recipe. Do you think it would still work without the cheese?

    1. I think so, but I'm not sure if the cheese gives the pudding structure. But I do think it would.