Yes it is that time of year when we bring out our prettiest casserole dishes, favorite casserole recipes, and gorge ourselves with their creamy, buttery, cheesy goodness. Ah the casserole. A guest at every holiday table, sometimes marching in with armies of their calorie laden comrades. They bring with them memories of holidays past, caked on hard to clean 9 x 13′s, and indigestion. As good as they are, they do lack that, hmm how does one put this- sophistication.
I’m not trying to put down one of my favorite food groups, I’m just sayin’. They are great for company but what if you wanted go all fancy schmancy on them. How can one wow a group with one’s favorite family casserole? You know, send it over the top so to speak. Cupcake it. What? Cupcake it. We are in the foodie age of cupcakes, everything individual, everything portioned, everything cute. So why not turn your favorite casseroles in to miniature works of food art?
This corn pudding sets up nicely and could be baked in ramekins or these foil cupcake cups on a tray. This whole idea was my brother’s. He has an aversion to casseroles. Broccoli, Rice and Cheese sends him into seizures. He made fun of it once in front of our Ma causing her to scoop it up with her bare hands and smash it into his shocked little face. He’s worn her mashed potatoes too. But give him his portion in a ramekin and he thinks it very posh (except Broccoli Rice and Cheese.) It is a great idea. I remember eating at a restaurant a few years back and they did just this. I ordered a steak dinner and it came with mashed potatoes, asparagus, and my own little ramekin of corn pudding. I thought it made a smashing presentation.
Corn Pudding- Adapted from Alton Brown
1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
3 T. unsalted butter
1 t. fresh thyme, minced
1 t. fresh rosemary, minced
1- 15 ounce can creamed corn
1 cup heavy cream
1 t. baking powder
1/2 cup self-rising yellow corn meal mix or Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 t. Kosher salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups cubed fresh bread
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions and herbs in butter until the onions are translucent. In a large bowl mix onion mixture with all the other ingredients and stir well. Pour into a greased casserole dish or into greased muffin foils, or ramekins. Bake the casserole for about 45 minutes or until golden and set. For the ramekins start with 15 minutes and check for doneness, proceed baking in 2 minute increments until done. Serves 6-8.
Note- If your casserole is one not to “set up” then stick to the ramekins or you will have a mess.
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