Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash

Seasonally speaking, this is a great transitional dish.  It brings together sweet, summer corn and an autumnal vibe from the season's first squash.  This is a winning vegetarian recipe.  Inside those cheesy, perfectly roasted acorn squash halves lies a savoury corn pudding studded with scallions and anise seed.  It's hearty and warming, and healthy as the pudding gets its heft from a mostly egg white and milk base.  It's fun to dig into and immensely satisfying.  I think it's special enough to make it's way onto a Thanksgiving table as a vegetarian main course, as it has at our place with great success.

Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash
Origin: adapted by Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks

Notes: This is another great recipe from my long time favorite - 101 Cookbooks.  Have you gone over there yet?  You won't be sorry.  It is full of healthy innovative recipes with great pictures and stories.
You can bake leftover corn pudding in ramekins or a small oven safe dish for 20 minutes alongside the squash, however it's best when eaten with the squash.  This recipe takes a while to prepare because of the lengthy roasting time...but it's easy to do.

1 small acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup milk
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon anise seed, chopped
1/2 cup chopped scallions
a tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the middle.

Rub the orange flesh of the squash with the olive oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. You will want it to sit flat (and not tip), if you are having trouble just level out the bottom using a knife. If the squash is tilting on the pan, the filling will run out - bad news. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash starts to get tender.

In a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, anise seed, half of the scallions, nutmeg, and salt. Fill each of the squash bowls 3/4 full. Carefully transfer the squash back to the oven without spilling. Continue baking uncovered for another 30-50 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked through, and the pudding has set. The amount of time it takes can vary wildly depending on the squash and oven.

At the last minute sprinkle with cheese and finish with a flash under the broiler to brown the cheese. Keep and eye on things, you can go from melted cheese to burnt and inedible in a flash. Serve hot sprinkled with the remaining scallions.

Serves 4.

1 comment:

  1. seriously?? where did this one come from? and can you bring me left overs?