Shortly after moving to Savannah I discovered the glorious southern side dish known as “corn pudding”, sort of a wet cornbread that’s more custard-like than bread-like. A local barbecue joint served the most delicious, buttery, corny corn pudding that I was often tempted to order their 4-vegetable plate and ask for all four servings to be corn pudding. One day I mentioned that to the waitress and she informed me that they did in fact sell it by the quart! Oh boy did temptation set in…and then the vision of me eating it in one sitting and being miserable from overdoing too much of a good thing at once! Unfortunately that restaurant closed and I never had a chance to ask for the recipe. The only option was to get busy and try to recreate the flavor and texture I recalled. I’ve enjoyed my basic corn pudding and used it in classes for many years until it recently dawned on me that it was suitable for graduation from the “side dish” category to a full-blown casserole meal.
Pair this heartier version of corn pudding with a salad for a quick evening supper, or serve it as part of brunch. Try out different types of pork sausage. I’ve particularly enjoyed the flavor combination of Maple pork sausage with the roasted sweetness of the corn.
Sausage & Corn Pudding
Yield: 8 servings
6 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 medium onion, cut in 1/4″ dice
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4″ dice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
½ cup flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
½ cup milk (may also use buttermilk if preferred or available)
1 15-oz. can creamed corn
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 tablespoons of the butter in the bottom of a 2-3 quart casserole dish. Place the dish in the oven and heat until the butter is melted, about 5-7 minutes. When butter is melted, remove from the oven and spray the sides of the casserole dish with non-stick vegetable spray.
Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Crumble the pork sausage into the hot skillet, breaking up into smaller bits as the bottom begins to brown. When the sausage is about half cooked, add the diced onions and bell pepper to the pan with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook and sweat the onions and peppers until tender and soft. When sausage is cooked and vegetables are soft, remove the pan from the stove and pour the mixture on top of the melted butter in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center and set aside. Crack the eggs into a 2 quart bowl and beat until blended. Add milk, creamed corn, and onions to the eggs. Mix until blended together. Pour liquid ingredients in the well of the dry ingredients and fold until batter is moistened and dry pockets no longer remain.
Pour batter into greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until center just barely jiggles when shaken.