I was perusing an old copy of Bon Appétit while taking a hot bath the other day, and a certain recipe caught my eye. You know how at the beginning of the magazine they provide restaurant recipes that have been requested by readers? Well, this one came from the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Pismo Beach, just a couple miles from our house! Intrigued, I looked at the recipe in more detail, and boy did it sound good!
It was an easy recipe to make, although it did require a lot of chopping things into small pieces (oh if I had the knife skills of a chef). But after that was done, assembling the corn pudding was a cinch. It has all those wonderful southwestern flavors of corn, slightly spicy jalapeño (mine were not very hot at all), roasted red peppers. And while being homey and comforting, it also had a hint of refinement with beaten egg whites giving it a bit of loft. I’m not really familiar with corn puddings (I’m Canadian after all), so I kind of like to think of it as a cross between a flavorful polenta and a soufflé, with a bunch of stuff tossed in besides.
I’m going to have to make a trip out to the Dolphin Bay Resort one of these days. Apparently their signature restaurant, Lido, from whence this corn pudding came, is supposed to be pretty awesome. Chris might just have to take me there on a date sometime. Is it weird to go to a restaurant because I’ve made one of their recipes? I wonder if the corn pudding is exactly the same at the restaurant, or if they’ve simplified it for the home cook? Would it be odd to order it?
By the way, who loves this vintage Pyrex casserole dish I found at Goodwill? Me, me, me! My favorite color!
Jalapeño Corn Pudding
From Lido at the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, via Bon Appétit March 2011
The most time-consuming thing about this recipe is chopping all the ingredients and prepping them to go in the pudding. Then, while the pudding is baking in the oven, prepare a fresh salad to go alongside.
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion (or one med onion)
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup finely chopped, seeded, jalapeño peppers
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chopped roasted bell peppers (from jar)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup grated cheese (I used less)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 2-quart baking dish (it says to use a shallow one, but mine isn’t very shallow, and it still worked out).
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, corn, jalapeño and garlic until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the cornmeal (yes over the heat). Add milk and cream, and stir the whole mixture together until it forms a thick batter (like soft polenta).
Remove to a large heat-proof bowl. Mix in red peppers, green onions, cilantro, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper.
Let cool about 15 minutes. Meanwhile whip the egg whites in a separate bowl with a tiny pinch of salt until they form soft peaks.
Mix the egg yolks into the cooled-down pudding batter. Then gently fold the egg whites into the batter. It’s ok if a few streaks of egg whites remain.
Pour into buttered dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 35 minutes or until middle of pudding is set (doesn’t jiggle when you shake dish).