Featured Ingredient: Corn
Few foods scream summer like corn. But, in recent years, it has gotten a bad rap due to concerns over its genetic modification, how it’s used to fatten up the plethora of cattle polluting the landscape, and the fact that it’s the cornerstone of high fructose corn syrup. But that’s the barely edible field corn. Sweet corn, which is not genetically modified, is the toothsome stuff you find now at farmers’ markets or, as in the case here in Waterloo, being sold by the side of the road by Mennonite tykes. There are several hybrids of sweet corn as well.
Probably surprising to many, corn is far from a nutritional dud. 1 cup of kernels is a very decent source of folate, fiber, thiamin, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Plus, corn is abundant in lutein and zeaxanthin, an antioxidant duo that are deposited in the retina to protect your peepers. So get shucking.
Corn pudding is a classic southern comfort food. There are many variations most of which are cooked in a pan. But when I came across a corn pudding recipe in the July issue of Vegetarian Times using ramekins, I knew they needed to be tried in the muffin tin. I added nutmeg for a hint of sweetness, but you could leave this out and go instead with herbs such as dill, sage or cilantro. This makes a wonderful summer side-dish for grilled meats. And best of all, its ridiculously simple.
To remove kernels from fresh corn, hold the ear of corn upright in a bowl and use a paring knife to slice off the kernels.
Makes 6 individual puddings
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 cups fresh corn (about 2 ears) or frozen corn, thawed
½ cup breadcrumbs (I used the panko style ones)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup low-fat sour cream
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
½ tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350F. Pulse 1 cup of the kernels in a food processor until they break down. Remove blade and stir in remaining kernels and the other ingredients. Divide mixture among 6 greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until set and starting to turn golden.