Could it be true that this is the last day of August and the end of summer is around the corner? Well, Labor Day may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean that summer is really over. Here in southern California, it’s hotter than it’s been in months and thankfully we’ll be seeing tomatoes, corn zucchini and peppers at the farmers’ market for at least six more weeks.
The following is the recipe for my absolute favorite corn pudding. There are many variations on this theme, but this is the one that stole my heart. Of course you could make this using frozen corn, but why would you when fresh corn is available right now and there’s nothing sweeter than just picked summer corn.
Spicy Corn Gratin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped leeks
6 cups of corn (scraped off the cob)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and saute leeks until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add corn and cook three minutes more. remove skillet from heat and cool. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg and salt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, cream and milk in large bowl until blended. Add corn mixture, cheddar and jack cheese. Spoon mixture into a greased 9″ x 11″ pan. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Makes about 8 servings.
This is the basic recipe but there have been times when I’ve decreased the cheese, used canned chopped chiles, varied the cheese and made it with just milk. It’s always delicious!