Inspired by a recipe from the 1993 Lee Bailey's Corn cookbook, Michael Romano of Manhattan's Union Square Café uses pureed corn to give this kernel-studded pudding a fresh flavor and a lovely creamy texture.
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1 small red bell pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
Pinch each of sugar and ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Roast the bell pepper over a gas flame or under the broiler until charred all over. Transfer the pepper to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool slightly. Peel and seed the pepper and cut it into 3/4-inch dice.
Generously butter a 6-cup soufflé dish. In a medium skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of butter. Add half of the corn and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the roasted bell pepper and season with salt and black pepper; let cool.
In a blender, combine the remaining corn with the half-and-half and cornstarch and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Discard the solids. Add the eggs, parsley, cilantro, sugar, allspice, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper to the bowl. Stir in the corn and red pepper mixture and pour into the prepared soufflé dish.
Set the dish in a roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the side of the dish. Bake the pudding in the center of the oven until golden and just set, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the soufflé dish from the roasting pan and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
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