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Corn Pudding from New Mexico

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Here in the southeast, corn is a vegetable that's ever-popular! During the summer months, corn on the cob is the perfect accompaniment for grilled steaks and grilled meats. Even during the wintertime, thanks to frozen and canned corn, it can still be enjoyed, so it's always available that way when it can't be obtained fresh.

"Corn Pudding" is a simple, yet good, side dish in the south and I'd like to give you one with a Mexican twist to it. This recipe I'm sharing is for "New Mexican Corn Pudding". This gets its flavor from bacon, green chilies, red bell pepper and Cheddar cheese. This almost resembles "Mexican Cornbread", but it's not quite a bread, since it doesn't have an appreciable amount of cornmeal.

This recipe begins by combining milk and yellow cornmeal, while additional milk is brought to boiling. This cornmeal mixture is added to the boiling milk and cooked. Several seasonings, along with the corn, bacon, chilies, and red pepper is added, along with egg yolks. Egg whites are beaten stiff and folded into this mixture. This is layered in a dish with the cheese and it's now ready for the oven. This serves 12 and as good as it is, you'll most likely be glad!

You'll see that it calls for canned green chilies, but if you happen to have some fresh on hand, that could be used, too. About 1/2 cup of the fresh chilies can be used. Recently, I mentioned in a column about being careful when working with these peppers, since the oil from them can get on your hands and cause a burning sensation. I suggested using disposable gloves when handling these peppers, then once you're done, they can be disposed of. To make sure of the oil being completely washed off, you'll want to wash your hand with soap and warm water to guarantee that the oil is removed.

If you decide to make this with fresh corn, which will be available this summer, about three ears of the corn would be about enough for this recipe. Of course, canned or frozen corn can be used when the fresh isn't available. Any leftovers reheat well in the microwave, so you can enjoy this for lunch the next day.

While I'm talking about Mexican food, sometime ago I shared a "Mexican Hot Dip" recipe that's a great appetizer or snack, particularly if you're entertaining. Here's the link to get this recipe:

http://www.examiner.com/article/hot-mexican-dip-for-snacking

Enjoy this good corn pudding that has a Mexican influence!

NEW MEXICAN CORN PUDDING

  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pats
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups cut corn (if using fresh, use about 3 ears)
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • 1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Combine 1/2 cup milk and cornmeal in a medium bowl. Place remaining milk in a small saucepan and bring to boiling. Add cornmeal mixture and stir until smooth, boiling for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter. along with the sugar, salt, corn, bacon, chilies and bell pepper. Beat egg yolks until thick and pale and stir into the cornmeal mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into cornmeal mixture . Pour half of this mixture into a greased 2-1/2 quart shallow casserole dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layering. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until firm in the center. Yield: 12 servings.

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