Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Savory Corn Pudding

I got this recipe out of an Ina Garten cookbook a couple of thanksgivings ago. My family loved it. The next year I suggested that I might make something else instead and they all threw a fit. I've been making it every year since. It really is delicious but its quite a departure for the typical sweet fluffy corn pudding of the south that I grew up with. It's chessey and savory and the fresh basil rounds out the flavors. This dish is the perfect accompaniment to a roast chicken dinner or a big family feast.

Savory corn pudding

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 cups fresh yellow corn kernels cut off the cob (6 to 8 ears)
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (6 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar, plus extra to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the inside of a 2 quart casserole dish.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan and saute the corn and onion over medium-high heat until tender. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and half-and-half. gradually whisk in the cornmeal and then the ricotta. Add the basil, sugar, salt, and pepper then the cooked corn mixture and 1/4 of the grated cheddar, and then pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the grated cheddar.

Place the dish in a larger pan and fill the pan 1/2 way up the sides of the dish with hot tap water. Bake the pudding for 40 to 45 minutes until the top begins to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

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