School starts in two days, and I’m too catatonically depressed to say much. But: this was a fantastic dinner! It was all I could do not to make my usual favorite late-summer corn dish, but I’m glad I tried something new. The pudding is delicious: like an herby, cheesey corn-filled soufflé.
The corn stays sweet and burstingly juicy, plus, the whole thing is so cheap and easy to make, and you could add any herbs you like (cilantro would be good, and so would basil).
I’m adding the arugula salad recipe, not because you couldn’t figure it out on your own, but because it really is so simple and delicious. Kind of like another salad, I’m realizing.
Savory Corn Pudding
Serves 4 to 6
This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison’s absolutely beautiful, useful book Local Flavors—a book I turn to constantly at this time of year, when I often have lots of this or that particular, fresh vegetable, without a clear sense of how it’s going to become dinner. She always helps it become dinner. I have mentioned this before, but I can’t say enough good things about the corn zipper, which has turned a job I used to hate (stripping kernels from cob) into one that I almost kind of like.
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
6 ears sweet corn, cut from the cob (3 cups or so of kernels. DM also has you scrape and reserve the “milk” from the cobs, and add this to the egg mixture, but I forgot.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cream, evaporated milk, or whole milk (I used cream)
1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (I used a sharp cheddar)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped marjoram (or another herb of your liking)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
Freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the oven to 350 and butter a 6-cup baking dish.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat and sauté the onion until it’s soft and lightly colored, about 10 minutes.
3. Now add the corn to the pan and sauté another minute or two, until it is just tender (DM has you boil it separately in water, I’m not sure why).
4. Beat the cream into the eggs, then stir in the corn and onion, the cheese, the herbs, and the salt and pepper.
5. Pour the mixture into the dish, shake a few dashes of paprika over the top, and bake until puffed and golden, around 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Perfect Arugula Salad
6-8 cups very fresh arugula, washed and torn
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) breadcrumbs (Note: if you don’t have any, just put a slice or two of any kind of bread in the blender! But maybe don’t use the dusty cardboard-scented kind from a cardboard can, which will not be tasty here.)
Perfect vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
Put the arugula in a large bowl.
Heat the butter in a smallish pan over medium heat and fry the breadcrumbs, stirring some, and then later more, until they are very brown and toasty, which will take longer than you might imagine (5 or so minutes). Set them aside in a bowl so that they don’t burn in the still-hot pan. Let them cool.
Toss the arugula with dressing to taste, then add the breadcrumbs and parmesan and toss again.
Makes 1 cup
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram (or oregano, if you prefer)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much are you even paying attention?)
Shake it up in a jar. Store it in the fridge. (This will make lots more than you need for the arugula.)