Y'all - I'm melting here in Knoxville. No - seriously. I'm really melting. Yesterday it got so hot in our living room that Marcus walked in and I had been reduced to a mere puddle on the floor. The only thing that saved me was that he sucked me up with a straw, brought me into our air conditioned bedroom and when I started to regain my solid form, he put in the freezer to finish the cooling off process. It was a very close call.
However I am such a committed food blogger that I dared - nay, I was thrilled - to turn on my oven this past week to make the following recipe. This was spectacular in oh-so-many ways. It's a cinch to throw together. It's delicious. It's heavenly straight from the oven, beguiling at room temperature and reheats like a dream.
I inhaled three servings of this stuff the first night we made it - it's one of the most comforting comfort foods I've ever made, yet there's nothing stodgy or heavy about it. The chewiness of the bread, the luxurious smoothness of the cream, the salty pungency of the cheese mixed with the sweetness of the corn - all of this combined made me sigh when I took my first bite. This dish is as soothing as cool, crisp cotton sheets but there's nothing overly familiar with it. This is a dish I'm willing to turn my oven on for right now - that's saying a lot.
The first time we made this, I used Asiago Pressato - the only kind the market had. This is a younger version of Asiago then most people buy. It's a bit sweeter than the more aged Asiago and the texture is creamier. The second time I made it, we used a more traditional Asiago - most versions were delicious. If you can't get find Asiago, I think this would be delicious with many different cheeses - you might try a good Parmesan (no buying the pre-grated stuff!) or Pecorino Romano.
Fresh Corn-and-Asiago Cheese Bread Pudding
Adapted from Southern Living
Yield: 12 servings
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups 1-inch cubes of french bread or other sturdy bread (I used one loaf french bread)
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.)Asiago cheese, shredded
Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add bread and toss to coat all the cubes. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 13x9 inch baking dish well.
Stir corn and cheese into the bread mixture. Spoon into pan. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until set and golden brown.
Some other recipes using fresh corn:
Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Mozzerella, Corn & Tomatoes
Summer in a Bowl Corn Chowder