On a recent trip to Borrego Springs in the California desert, I was inspired to try some rustic Southwestern cooking. ‘Southwest cuisine’ is a blend of Spanish, Mexican and Native American food and is popular in New Mexico, California, Arizona and Utah. It is similar to Mexican cuisine and is known for its use of spices, such as chile peppers.
Although this recipe is called ‘Corn Pudding’ it is not a sweet dish. Creamed corn is blended with cream, eggs, cheese and green chiles to form a firm pudding. This dish pairs beautifully with chilli con carne or any other spicy meat dish.
Some corn pudding recipes call for white flour, but I think that yellow cornmeal gives a richer texture. I’ve used one can of creamed corn for my recipe, but you can use a can of ordinary corn or fresh corn, if desired.
Here are some photos from my recent trip to Borrego Springs, located in the Anza Borrego desert in California. The brilliant sunrises and sunsets, the red mountains jutting up from the desert floor, the feeling of solitude within the vast expanse of the desert, all gave me inspiration to try conjuring up some new Southwest recipes.
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal or polenta
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can creamed corn or regular corn
- ½ cup chopped green onions (spring onions)
- ½ cup roasted red bell pepper, diced
- 1 roasted green or red chile, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Lightly brush the inside of a Dutch oven or casserole dish with melted butter or vegetable oil.
- Combine the cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- In order to roast the green or red chile pepper, slice it in half and remove the seeds. Rub the skin with olive oil and bake in oven for 10 – 15 minutes until the skin blisters. Remove from oven and let cool; peel the skin off and dice into small pieces.
- In a separate bowl, combine the corn, green onions, roasted red bell pepper, diced chile and cheeses. Stir in the dry ingredients, then add the melted butter, cream and eggs and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into the Dutch oven or casserole dish, cover and bake for around 30 minutes. Remove the cover from the dish and let bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until the mixture firms and turns golden on top. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- You can use a can of ordinary corn instead of creamed corn, if desired.