Comfort food knows no season. Although this casserole has the earmarks of a cool-weather dish, it makes the rotation more often in summer months when fresh corn can be found at every turn. When it’s available, nothing tops corn fresh from the field. Still, when the corn is not yet as high as an elephant’s eye, frozen or canned corn also works just fine in this creamy, cheesy and slightly spicy pudding-style corn casserole and is a reminder of those halcyon days of summer ahead. I can’t think of a better way to use what’s left of last year’s harvest.
If fresh corn on the cob is available, though, grab a knife and use it. The art of stripping the juicy kernels from the cob has sadly faded in recent years, but it is well worth the effort. Remove the husk, rub off the silk and use a sharp knife to shear the kernels from the cob into a large bowl. Now here’s the good part: turn the knife over and run the flat side down the cob to extract the pulpy milk left behind after the first pass. That “corn milk” is absolutely loaded with great corn flavor and it’s why fresh is always better.
This recipe has been my standard for quite a while, but it got a tremendous boost a couple of years ago when I tried a version elsewhere using bell and jalapeño peppers. Adding those new garden ingredients to my standby brought beautiful color and a touch of heat to the dish that I didn’t realize was missing. The tried and true path is a good one, but venturing off the trail once in a while is worth the detour.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 4 cups corn
- 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Whisk milk, eggs, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
Whisk in cornmeal.
Add corn, 1 cup cheese, green onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and parsley and stir well to combine.
Pour mixture into a buttered casserole or baking dish.
Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup cheese over the top of casserole.
Bake in a 350 degree oven 55 minutes or until browned and set.
Rest at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.