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Zippy Corn Pudding

Recipe: Zippy Corn Pudding

Remarks:

    I was hungry for corn pudding, so I went on one of my inspirational recipe searches. Sometimes I just have to see what other folks are doing out there to get myself a starting point. The menu you're going to experience today was built from a corn pudding recipe I found at www.epicurious.com but, of course, I then changed it, simplified it and turned it into something you could just pop into the oven and walk away from.

    Get the corn pudding ready in advance (even up to a day ahead) and serve it with a meat of your choice (Southwestern Chicken, for example).

Servings:
Serves 4

Ingredients:

    One batch of cornbread (9X9-inch pan size or pre-made from the store will work fine too, e.g. a 7.5-oz package of Martha White corn muffin mix)
    1/2 cup milk
    1 cup canned corn, rinsed and drained
    4 slices hot pepper cheese or 1 cup block pepper cheese (diced either way)
    1/2 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
    1 mild chili minced (no seeds; use Anaheim, banana or some other mild chili)
    3 green onions diced (light green parts included)
    1 cup buttermilk (1% is fine)
    1/2 cup red enchilada sauce
    2 eggs
    1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

    Cornbread Instructions

    To make the corn bread, pull out your 9X9-inch ovenproof pan. Spray with baking spray or grease and flour it. You can put the cornbread mix directly in the pan. (Why wash a bowl?) Add the one-half cup of milk the directions call for, and gently stir the mixture until all crumbs are fully incorporated. Just make sure all of the dry bits are mixed in. (If you found a mix that requires an egg or oil, just follow the directions on the box to make the cornbread.) This all can be done a day ahead or right when you want to make the dish. When the mix is fully stirred in, bake the corn bread at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Flip out of the pan and let cool to the touch.

    Corn Pudding Instructions

    To make the corn pudding, you can use the same ovenproof pan. You don't even have to wash it after you take out the cornbread. Just spray it again so it's ready to go. Dice your cheese, chop your red bell pepper, mince your chili and chop your green onions. Mix them all up on your cutting board with the drained corn. When the corn bread is cool enough to cut, use a bread knife and cut it into one-inch cubes. Put those in your ovenproof pan first. Then sprinkle in all of the chopped ingredients.

    In a separate small bowl, mix the buttermilk, one-half cup of enchilada sauce and the two eggs and salt with a whisk until it's fully combined. Pour this over the cornbread. Now take a fork and get the cornbread, the chopped veggies and the sauce all mixed up. You want to make sure all of your corn bread gets wet.

    Put this in your refrigerator to soak. Some folks think you have to do this for hours. I only give it about 20 minutes before I'm too impatient and I want to make dinner, so I go ahead. If you want, you can even leave it overnight. If you leave it overnight, cover it with plastic wrap.

    Put the corn pudding in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. At the one-hour point, take out the corn pudding to "rest" on the counter for 10 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions:

Enjoy!

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