Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sweet Corn Pudding for a Mexican Feast!

I wrote this post maybe a year ago, then forgot about it! It really is an amazing side dish, sure to be a hit. 

From left: beef shank in pipian mole, tortillas, chile-lime-garlic pork shoulder, charred onions with herbs, chimichurri, salsa verde, roast chiles, corn pudding, jicama slaw, salsa roja. UTTERLY DELICIOUS.
Food's ready! 
My plate: beef with chimmi and pork with salsa verde. And charred onions on both. I went back for corn pudding afterwards. Several times.

Awhile back, Adam and I hosted out traditional "don't forget we exist" barbecue in our backyard. I think this is the second one--maybe the third? This event is to put ourselves back on the social radar of our not-in-the-ski-house friends, whom we've ignored for six months.

This year was particularly great. Some of my favorite new colleagues were there, plus two baby puppies, one adorable child, and many of our favorite people in Denver. And the food was BOMB. I went with Mexican food, because Mexican food is the most delicious single cuisine on the planet.

Here is a recipe for corn pudding, which was a huge hit. It was eaten up completely by meat eaters and vegetarians alike. It tasted rich and creamy and wildly corn-y.

Corn Pudding for Tons of People (play with the ratios feed a more normal-sized group)
(all the vegetarians put this in their tortillas instead of meat--goes great with the salsa)
20 ears of shucked freshcorn
2 cups of coarse corn meal
2 quarts (or so) of whole milk
1 stick of salted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
salt to taste (about a tablespoon)
Pinch of cayenne (this won't be discernible in the final dish, but will add an element of depth)

What to do:
Cut the kernels off the corn. Use the large, covered pot you plan to cook the pudding in: hold the cob vertically and cut downward, scraping as close to the cob as you can.This is annoying and will take awhile.
Add the two cups of coarse corn meal to your pot with the kernels.
Add the milk and sugar, and a heavy dash (2 teaspoons to start) of salt.
Mix all ingredients together.
Place the pot over low heat and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the corn meal has completely absorbed the milk. If it seems too dry, add more milk and continue cooking.
Add the butter and pinch of cayenne, and stir until completely incorporated. Taste for salt.
Then, look at the consistency and use your judgement--it is a pleasingly pudding-like texture? Play with the cornmeal and milk ratios until it's perfect.