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
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!