Thursday, August 27, 2015

Green chile corn pudding

Green chile corn pudding | Homesick Texan

When I hear bad news, my first inclination is to eat. While that’s perhaps not the most constructive way to deal with stress, it does make life better, at least temporarily. Some people like to indulge in sweet things when they’re feeling anxious, but I’ve always leaned towards the savory. I’ll take starch over sugar any day.

Recent events had me feeling out of sorts, and true to my nature I wanted a comforting dish. My first thought was to make macaroni and cheese, but I checked my inbox and saw a letter from a reader inquiring if I had a recipe for green chile corn casserole to share. He explained that he’d been craving it, and since he had lots of sweet corn and Hatch chiles, he wanted to put to them to good use.

Corn casserole or corn pudding, as it’s traditionally known, is an old Texan favorite. While these days we typically think of pudding as being dessert, hundreds of years ago it was defined as a dish thickened with grains, which meant puddings could be both sweet and savory.

Green chle corn pudding | Homesick Texan

Early Texan recipes for corn pudding were made with only corn, eggs, and cream with maybe a touch of sugar. Along the way, however, recipes evolved and people started adding aromatics, cornmeal, cheese, and sometimes even chiles, too. Indeed, when all those ingredients come together, it does make for solace in a dish. My reader had the right idea, and I knew what I would make.

For my green chile corn pudding, I started with a Taylor County recipe from the late 1800s that called for corn, eggs, butter, and cream. Using that as my base, I took the lead from other recipes and added a little bit of cornmeal to thicken the custard. I added some garlic and spices for more flavor and then threw in roasted green chiles for a touch of earthy heat. To finish, I topped the casserole off with Monterey Jack cheese.

The result was like a happy marriage between quiche and creamed corn, with the sweet corn and green chiles nestled in a cheesy, custardy base. Each bite was soft and yielding, but there was enough fire and spice to keep things interesting. Likewise, it was luxurious without being heavy and it took little time to make, all of which made it terrific for late summer. This was Texan comfort food at its finest.

Green chle corn pudding | Homesick Texan

Typically, corn puddings are served as a side, though it works well as a light main dish, too. And while it’s not traditional breakfast fare, I find it delicious in the mornings, either warm or cold. But no matter if you’re looking for a way to use up an abundance of corn and green chiles, or simply seeking some cheer in a dish, this green chile corn pudding has just what you need.

Green chile corn pudding

2 Hatch, Anaheim, or Poblano chiles
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ears of corn, kernels removed or 2 cups fresh corn kernels
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnishing
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half

Roast the Hatch, Anaheim, or Poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes. After the chiles have steamed, remove from the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and dice.

When the chiles are ready, preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large ovenproof skillet, preferably a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, on low heat melt the butter. (If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, lightly grease a 9-inch square-baking dish for the pudding, and melt the butter in a saucepan.) Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat and swirl the butter around the base of the skillet and the sides to lightly grease it.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the diced chiles, corn, garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin, cayenne, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the cornmeal and baking powder. Whisk together the eggs and half and half, and then pour them over the corn. Stir until everything is well combined.

Pour the corn mixture back into the skillet (or a baking dish if using that instead) and sprinkle evenly over the top the rest of the cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the custard is set. (The color may be a little lighter in the center, but that’s okay.) Allow the pudding to rest int the skillet for 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

6-8 servings




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Gabriel said...

This corn pudding sounds incredible - "marriage between quiche and cream corn," oh my, yes please! I'm a huge fan of corn and have never tried anything like this before, I need to make this!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Gabriel--If you're a fan of corn, you'll love this!

Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen said...

I hope things turn around for you soon. This looks like the perfect comfort food dish to lift your spirits!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Ashley--Nothing like comfort food to make you feel better!

Pam said...

Sounds and looks really good! Take care

Anne said...

Great minds - I was thinking of making something like this tonight for dinner to go with leftover roasted chicken. I turned to your web site, and there it was! Thanks.
Hope you are feeling happier soon.

Sammie said...

I'm a savoury toothed girl myself and this corn pudding looks like my kinda food. I'm sorry you've not been having the best time, I hope things improve quickly. Thank you for a delicious recipe.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Pam--Thank you!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Anne--It would go wonderful with roasted chicken!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Sammie--Yes! if you love savory foods this is your kind of dish.

Anonymous said...

Good morning!! Is this recipe in one of the your cook books?!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--No, it's not in one of my cookbooks.

Anne said...

I made it last night and it was fantastic - definitely goes in the permanent recipe collection! I did leave out the cilantro because none of us likes it, But other than that, it's great - not over the top rich but flavorful and comforting. And yes, it goes perfectly with chicken (and anything else you would pair it with).

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Anne--Well, that was fast! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it--this makes my day!

Texan in Mo. said...

Looks really good! I was thinking that the addition some chorizo seco would work well.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Texan in Mo.--Chorizo sounds like an excellent addition!

Rebecca said...

ohhh..This tastes so good! I am thinking If I grated zucchini and twist dried it real good it would be good in this also.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Rebecca--Love that idea!

sophie said...

It's in the oven now ... I could use a little comfort food these days and so I picked up roasted green chilis and fresh corn at the farmers market yesterday with plans for a comforting meal tonight.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Sophie--Hope you feel better soon and enjoy the corn pudding!

anadimae said...

This was delicious~!! Thank you so much~!! Fresh poblanos from Chino's local farm and their corn as well. This is a great summer side, especially for entertaining~!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Anadimae--So pleased you enjoyed it!

Unknown said...

Yum. Made this for dinner last night and just scarfed down the leftovers for lunch today. I will definitely be making this again.

Barbara said...

It is in my Evernote recipe collection, because this is true comfort food, and I hope you were as comforted by it as I will be very soon! Rough days deserve comfort foods. Thank you!

Lisa said...

This was so good. As soon as I saw the recipe I realized I had everything I needed to make so I did and we loved it. Thanks!

The Mistress of Spices said...

Could you use masa harina instead of regular cornmeal?

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Unknown--So glad it was a hit at your house!

Barbara--Indeed they do! Enjoy the corn pudding.

Lisa--Yay! I'm so pleased y'all enjoyed it!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Mistress of Spices--I haven't tried that substitution but it could maybe work.

atthebench said...

I picked up a case of roasted green chile from Wegmans this weekend and this recipe was a perfect inaugural dish! The corn stayed sweet and crunchy and the custard was light and fluffy. Now that I have a freezer full of green chile, I'm sure I'll be coming back to this dish.

dynagrrl said...

We made this tonight as a side dish for our Thanksgiving dinner. I don't know why I expected it to be a bit creamy, but regardless, it was delicious!!! We are going to have the leftovers this week with fried eggs for dinner one night. YUM! We also used poblano chiles that we grew in our garden. So a total win at our house. Thanks for the great recipe! :)

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