Budin de Elote (Corn Pudding)

 It is officially fall.  Somewhere out there, the leaves are turning, the temperatures are dropping, pumpkins are plumping, and it feels like fall.  For me, on the other hand, I have been laid up in bed for two days--and I foresee another two--with a cold I spent all of last week avoiding.  What is it with my once-a-trimester cold?  It's as if my student germs lay in wait and then ambush me after long vacations.  I can almost guarantee I will get a cold just after winter break and another after spring break.

However, having a cold means countless hours wrapped in a comforter dragged from the bed.  It means lounging on the couch with a box of Kleenex nestled beside you while you watch Sex and the City, House Hunters International, and Chopped.  It means finally feeling well enough to read, so you read Animal Farm, something you haven't read since seventh grade in Mrs. Foley's Literature class.  It means napping at least three times a day and permitting yourself Chicken Noodle-O's and grapefruit juice with club soda.  There are certain comforts in being sick, but they are hard to appreciate.

One sacrifice I had to make with this cold is that I could not attend last night's family dinner, a monthly gathering for really good food with really good people.  I watched Amistad on demand and then Love it or List it (they listed it), while I had toast.  The husband, however, had paella and poached pears.  Sigh.

However, I can report on a dish we served at our last family dinner: the husband and I are big fans of this budin.  A late summer dish, it overflows with fresh corn and zucchini.  You can also adjust it to be full of zucchini and scallions or asparagus and green onion or even zucchini and garlic.  It is chock full of cream, and as such, we do not eat it often.

Budin is traditionally a Puerto Rican bread pudding; however, this number skips the bread altogether and flirts with the souffle as its inspiration.  It is light and fluffy, and one could serve it for any meal.  Imagine it beside mouth watering bacon for a decadent breakfast.  Or beside a light salad of arugula and beets for a scrumptious brunch.  Or serve it as we did as part of a parade of foods (including steak tacos and grilled baby artichokes).

Now I return to my regularly scheduled lounging in bed beside my new kitten.  Yes, we broke down and got two new kitties (the last year has seen the reduction of our cat numbers by two).  Adorable and rambunctious, one of them deigns to crawl into bed with me, but only after waking me at 6 a.m.  Lucky for her, I have three naps planned for today.

One Year Ago: Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Two Years Ago: Masala Dosa with Spicy Potatoes and Spinach

Budin de Elote
Adapted from  Dona Tomas by Dona Savitsky and Thomas Schnetz

6-8 Servings

3 cups fresh white corn kernels (from 3 ears of corn)*
1-2 zucchinis, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Toss the corn and zucchini with flour to even coat.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks.  Then add cream and salt and whisk until fully incorporated.

4.  Butter a 9-inch shallow casserole dish.  Spread the corn and zucchini in the pan to about 1-inch thick.  Pour the batter over the vegetables and bake, uncovered, for about an hour.  It should be lightly browned on top and should feel like a firm pillow to the touch.

5.  Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.

*Don't use canned corn, as it is too wet and will alter the texture of the pudding.  If you don't have any fresh corn, up the zucchini to 3 cups and add a cup of scallions.  Or toss out the idea of zucchini and corn altogether and use 2 large roasted poblano chiles with 1/4 cup minced green garlic or alternatively go with a spring pudding of 3 cups thinly sliced asparagus with 1 cup sliced green onion.


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