Unfortunately, this time of year it’s impossible (or impossibly expensive) to get these two key ingredients, but I have to admit that my version turned out pretty well.
That’s one thing I love about Gourmet’s recipes: they always turn out well, even if you make all kinds of substitutions. I used frozen corn instead of fresh, which didn’t taste as good and wasn’t nearly as tender as fresh—but it was okay. And with no fresh basil around, I substituted a can of green chilis and some diced red bell pepper—which transformed it into a Southwestern kind of dish instead of a Mediterranean one.
Here’s a link to the original recipe at epicurious.com, including a photograph. I highly recommend the original recipe, using all fresh ingredients. (Remember, it was published in the July issue, which was traditionally all about fresh summertime produce!)
It’s a nice creamy side dish, rather mild, almost like a corn quiche, depending on how much corn you leave whole. It’s not very sweet, though the corn you use makes a big difference in that category. And you can always alter the amount of sugar, too.
This would go well with fish tacos, I think. Or grilled shrimp. Or grilled anything. It’s also something you can prep well ahead of time, then stick in the oven without much ado. You can serve it hot or cool.
Southwestern Corn Pudding
(Adapted from “Corn Pudding with Basil,” Gourmet, July 2007, p. 8.)
4 c. corn (can be frozen, but fresh-cut from ca. 6 ears is better)
1 can (4.5 oz.) of diced green chilis (Ortega, OE Paso, Hatch, etc.)
1/4 c. diced red bell pepper
red chili powder to taste
3 T. flour
1 T. sugar
1 c. milk
1 c. heavy cream
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease/spray/butter a large shallow baking dish, 2.5 or 3 quarts.
Rumble 2 c. of the corn (or more, if you want) in a food processor until coarsely chopped. In a large bowl, combine it the with rest of the corn, entire can of chilis (including the liquid), and red bell pepper. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the vegetables; stir well to combine.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake in center of oven until center is just set, from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let it stand for about 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 8–10 as a side dish.