I love snow days! You see, they always seem to afford me with both the opportunity and motivation to try something new in the kitchen. Yes, when the snow starts to fly around here, so do the pots and pans. Nothing starts the day like a hardy breakfast, particularly on snow days and since they happen on such rare occasion, why not whip out a special dish to chase away the cold?
This light and airy corn Soufflé would seem more suited for a summer brunch but it just so happens the local market had sweet corn on hand. Why not chuck it into a tasty Soufflé? Besides, it made me forget about the snow for a few minutes and I could almost feel that warm summer sun shining down on me…
Savory Corn Soufflé with Candied Bacon and Sweet Corn Relish
1 cup milk
2 cups corn kernels (about 3 ears)
½ cup unsalted butter, extra for the ramekins
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 or 3 grinds black pepper
1 Tablespoon scallions, diced
Put the milk and 1 ¼ cups of the corn kernels in a blender or food processor. Blend until puréed. Strain the purée through a medium- fine sieve, using a rubber spatula to push through as much pulp as possible. You should have about 1 ½ cups of purée.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute, still whisking. Slowly whisk in the corn purée from the strainer and whisk over medium- low heat for two minutes. Add remaining milk mixture from the strainer and continue whisking until the mixture is as thick as pudding, about 3-5 minutes. Pour mixture into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Heat the oven to 400º F. Generously butter six 6-oz. ramekins.
When the soufflé base is cool, stir in the egg yolks, the remaining ¾ cup corn kernels, salt pepper, and scallions. In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula to gently stir half of the whites into the soufflé base and then fold in the rest. Be sure not to over mix.
Fill the ramekins just over three-quarters full and set them in a baking dish or broiler large enough to hold all the ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the baking dish or broiler to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake the puddings until they’re puffed, set and golden brown, about 30 minutes; rotate the pan once during baking.
Remove the puddings from the baking dish and let cool for about 15 minutes. Unmold the puddings by sliding a knife around the edge of each ramekin and gently inverting the pudding into the palm of your hand. Set the puddings browned side up on a serving plate.
Sprinkle the puddings with a light dusting of cayenne pepper then garnish with Candied Bacon crumbles and sweet corn relish. Great when accompanied with an egg either poached or sunny-side up.
Sweet Corn Relish
1 Ear Sweet Corn (remove kernels)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
2 Scallions, diced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Diced Cilantro
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Blanche corn kernels for about 5-8 minutes, just till slightly al dente. Remove from heat and fill pan with cold water. Drain water and continue to rinse in a strainer with cold water. Drain well and place in a medium mixing bowl. Toss in diced Bell peppers, cilantro and scallions mix together.
Add apple cider then season with kosher salt to taste. Garnish with a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.