Growing up, I spent a lot of nights with my maternal Grandma and Grandpa.
My grandma was a witty, gregarious woman, who dyed her hair with a red-purple box color called “Hibiscius.” She was a teller at a bank and, when I was a little one, she would take off and travel by bus all around the U.S. with her Bridge group. She’d come back with souvenirs like magnets, framed art and t-shirts for me.
She made lots of 60’s-era casseroles (tater tot casserole, anyone?) and indulged my every food desire (hot dog and cheddar cheese omelets, namely). She always buttered bread no matter what – even if peanut butter or mayonnaise were to follow.
When Grandma was working or traveling, it’d just be me and Grandpa. We ate a lot of what he called “soldier food.” A WWII veteran, his staple meal has always been Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and buttered whole wheat toast.
We ate meals from cans, like Chicken a la King, and “shit on a shingle.”
And always, always he would heat up canned, creamed corn.
Savory Corn Pudding
2 cans of whole kernel corn
2 shallots, diced
2 – 4 cloves of garlic, diced
1.5 T. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. grated white cheddar
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
fresh herbs, chopped
red pepper flakes and dried oregano (optional)
sea salt & pepper
a dash of paprika
This recipe feels nostalgic and new at the same time, with the herbs fresh, the corn from the can. And, it’s from one of my favorite blogs.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F, and butter a baking dish. Grate your cheeses. Roughly chop your fresh herbs. Dice your shallots and garlic cloves, and drain your canned corn.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter foam subsides, add diced shallots and garlic. Sautée until tender (about 7 minutes). Then, add the drained corn to the skillet. Cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit.
In a large mixing bowl, gently beat your eggs. Fold in cream, fresh herbs, paprika, ground black pepper, and (optional) red pepper flakes and dried oregano.
For the fresh herbs, I used Italian flat leaf parsley because it’s all I had on hand. Experiment, though! Use fresh marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, or basil.
Add sautéed corn, garlic and shallots to your big mixing bowl of cream and eggs. Combine gently, along with your grated white cheddar cheese (save the parmesan for later!). Salt generously.
Pour the mixture into your buttered baking dish, and cover with your grated parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 50 minutes.
This dish is comforting on a muggy summer afternoon, or when you’re snowed in for the winter. If you make this in the summer, try serving it as a creamy side dish for a colorful, gigantic arugula salad. If you make this in the winter, omit the fresh herbs, add dried herbs generously, and eat with buttery roast chicken.
Original recipe: Savory Corn Pudding