The Simple Art of Cooking: Savory Corn Pudding and Maque Coux

I have been looking for a great corn pudding recipe for years. A corn pudding that wasn’t made with canned cream of or frozen corn, or over-the-top quantities of highly caloric ingredients and unwieldy components for the corn base. Well I found it in B. Smith’s. B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style (Scribner).

B. Smith, of course, is B. Smith of her eponymous restaurants in New York City, Washington, DC and right here on the wharf in Sag Harbor. This very accomplished woman has had a career in modeling and commercials, was the first African-American woman to grace the cover of Mademoiselle, a national fashion magazine, and this past spring co-starred with Anne Meara and Conchetta Ferrell in Nora Ephron’s hilarious off-Broadway play, Love, Loss and What I Wore. I could go on and on about the accomplishments of this lifestyle expert—and she can cook too!

B.’s simple corn pudding recipe has few ingredients, is full of fresh corn flavor and texture with a custardy base. I took the liberty of reducing even the limited amount of sugar in the recipe since our fresh local corn couldn’t be sweeter. If the taste of Louisiana is in your DNA, B. offers Maque Choux, a traditional vegetarian side with onion, green pepper, tomatoes and cayenne. A dish perfectly suited to this time of the year! [expand]

SAVORY CORN PUDDING

B. Smith suggests using a knife to scrape the cob after removing the kernels to get all the pulp and milk to add to the creamy flavor of the dish.

Yields 6 to 8 servings

3 cups fresh corn kernels

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper or to taste

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

1. In a large bowl combine the corn, eggs, heavy cream, sugar, salt, white pepper and chives, and stir to mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered 8-inch glass (Pyrex) baking dish.

2. Bake the corn pudding for 45 to 48 minutes, until the edges are browned and the pudding is slightly puffed, the center jiggles like gelatin when the pan is nudged, or the tip of the knife comes out clean from the center. Serve hot or warm.

 

MAQUE CHOUX

B. Smith’s Louisiana-influenced 

corn-based vegetarian side.

Yields 4 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

4 cups fresh corn kernels

Fresh chiffonade of basil or thyme leaves, to taste

2 cups chopped plum tomatoes

1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock or broth

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup sliced scallions, for garnish

 

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter, or warm the oil, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.

2. Stir in the corn, basil, tomatoes, stock, white pepper and cayenne. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot garnished with scallions.

 

Above recipes adapted and reprinted from B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style, Scribner, 2009.

For more recipes, cooking news, book signing dates and Silvia’s blog check out my new website, www.Savoringthehamptons.com. [/expand]

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