Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Corn Pudding

This recipe began with an episode of The Barefoot Contessa ... during which I had at least two coronary events simply from watching her cook with all that butter and fat. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some Ina Garten; I love everything about her. When she featured her Sagaponack Corn Pudding on the show, several years ago, I knew immediately that I had to make it ... over. And so I did.

My inner fat cop took The Barefoot Contessa's recipe and adapted it to my style of cooking/eating. We are well-pleased with the results. The finished dish has all of the flavor and roughly half the fat. Win/win!

Summer Corn Pudding:
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 5 cups of fresh native (i.e. local) corn kernels cut off the cob (approximately 6 to 8 ears, depending on size)
  • 1/2 of a large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of fat free milk
  • 1 cup of fat free Half-and-Half
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup of 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • generous grating of fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, plus a bit extra to sprinkle on top
  • paprika for dusting on top
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter the inside of a 9 x 13 inch oven-safe glass baking dish.

Melt the butter in a very large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn, onions and shallot and saute, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Cool slightly and reserve.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and half-and-half. Slowly whisk in the corn meal until just incorporated. Add the cottage cheese and whisk to combine. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, chives and parsely, whisking to combine. Add the reserved corn mixture and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the top with some additional cheese and dust with some paprika for garnish.

Place the dish into a larger pan (I used a big roasting pan) and fill the pan 1/2 way up the side of the dish with hot tap water to create a water bath. Carefully move to the oven and bake on the middle rack at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top begins to brown and the pudding has set through. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean when the pudding is done.

Once cooked, very carefully remove from the oven and even more carefully, remove the glass baking dish from the water bath. Hint: do not burn yourself! Serve warm.

As written, this recipe will serve 8 to 10.

Let me tell you, this dish is a show-stopper. My guests couldn't get enough of it! The finished pudding is light, creamy and bursting with the flavor of fresh corn. I'll be honest, I don't measure the corn by cup - I used 6 large ears this time - and I don't really measure the salt, pepper, herbs or cheese either. I cook by feel, so consider the recipe a guideline and do as you see fit.

The original recipe calls for fresh basil, rather than chives, so feel free to use whichever herbs you like best. I happen to adore the combination of chives and corn - though, doubtless, the basil would be equally wonderful. The most important thing here is not to over cook the corn when you are sauteing it. 3 to 4 minutes and not a second more!

A more thoughtful Diva might have photographed the dish when it came out of the oven. Alas, I was knee-deep in party prep at the time, so that didn't happen. I can assure you the finished product is as beautiful as it is scrumptious. You'll just have to take my word for it. The pudding can be served straight out of the oven and its equally good warm, at room temperature ... or even cold the next day. Not that you'll have much leftover, you won't.

With all due respect to the Contessa, I like my version better ... and so do my hips!

Bon appetite!


nora@ffr said...

I love the ideas you come up with. I wish I was as inspirational as you.. ye corn pudding is truly perfect for the summer :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

Hey diva, i am so happy to see this recipe on your website. Ina's recipie for corn pudding is in my bookmarks, and I was drooling when i saw her make it, but like you, I know this will end up as thigh meat lol. Great job on making this more figure friendly.
Have a wonderful weekend daaaaaaahling :D

Astra Libris said...

Ohhhh, gorgeous! I love your healthful makeover! Sounds incredible!

Diva, thank you so much for your incredibly sweet comment on my post... You brought tears to my eyes with your kindness...

Anonymous said...

Scrumptious! I've always wanted to make a corn pudding, bookmarking the recipe.

The Duo Dishes said...

Swooning over this. We have a friend who should be in the Guiness book for best corn pudding. It's nowhere near low fat. In fact, he and Ina would hug and smooch over their respective fatty dishes. Thanks for lightening it up. :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

nora - thanks, though I have to give the credit to Ina Garten. I just made it Divalicious! ;)

HH - glad to be of service! The recipe is amazing and this version will only kill you half as dead. LOL and j/k!

Astra - You are truly welcome. I meant every word. And now we're even, because you made me teary too. :)

5 Star - I think you'll love this one ... and there's plenty of room for experimentation. Have fun with it!

Duo - I wouldn't pass up a scoop of the original, or your friend's ... but honestly, this one is every bit as good. Thanks!

Veriance said...

this looks heavenly and we will have fresh corn from our garden by next week! can't wait to try it!

Donna-FFW said...

Well this sounds beyond wonderful.. corn pudding, yum.

Maven said...

I love it! Your inner fat cop :-)

This is something I will definitely try!

And a quick FYI to you, I've turned my Fabulously Good Life blogs private because now that I've got all that good work done I want to try and get some of my stuff published... try anyways ;)

I'll still be around on The Kitchen Witch.

Katherine Aucoin said...

This looks soooooo good. Sometimes she does go overboard but then again sometimes so do I. Looking at this recipe it looks like there's plenty of butter in it.

stephchows said...

Great job!! It's so much fun lightening up recipes :) See you can make things better for you and taste just as good! yum!!

Daily Spud said...

I'm going to stand up and say this now - I've never had corn pudding - but now that I seen it, I want! Only trouble will be access to nice fresh ears of corn as opposed to what the Jolly Green Giant can provide, as it isn't exactly corn country hereabouts!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Veri - I think you'd really like this. You can even serve it as a meal with a side salad. Yum!

Donna - it was, it really was. Thanks!

Maven - thanks for the head's up ... how exciting! Good luck to you and let me know how it goes. Of course I'll still "see" you on The Kitchen Witch. :)

Katherine - I agree on all counts! The original called for a stick of butter ... but I just couldn't bring myself to do it! LOL

Steph - I agree, making over recipes is my favorite thing. Its so satisfying! Btw, welcome back, hope your trip was fabulous!

Daily Spud - I guess I'm not surprised that you've never had it. Sad, but not surprised. You're right, not exactly corn country in your neck of the woods. You'll just have to hop the pond and visit me during the summer! :)

Kidding aside, you really could use frozen corn for this. It would miss the fresh flavor of the native corn, but would still be quite delicious.

The Wino said...

This sounds awesome! I have been wanting to try something like this for a long time, just never seem to get around to it. I will have to try your guilt free version! Maybe even in single portion dishes, to help control myself!