WND – Corn Pudding & Other Gateway Drugs

November 1, 2007

The weather has finally turned for good. The trees are glorious with crimson and gold. There’s comfort food on the menu for Dinner. I’d say all is right with the world, but the Red Sox just won the World Series for the second time in four years and that might actually be a sign of the apocalypse.

Corn Pudding
Chicken Fingers
Apple Sauce

Corn Pudding is one of the only recipes for which I advocate the use of a pre-made store-bought mix. This is not quite as Alice Waters as it seems. It is maybe 30% me being puritanical about being able to pronounce all the ingredients in the food I eat. The other 70% has to do with the realities of growing up outside of the United States.

Growing up we lived hither and yon, and moved in between the two a lot. In practical terms what this means is that a lot of the time not only did we not have access to Cheerios (apparently for years this was the first thing I’d ask for when we got off the plane in the US), but we also didn’t have access to a lot of the packaged mixes that are familiar to a lot of my friends.

My mother made almost everything from scratch, and taught me how to cook the same way. When I was a teenager this wasn’t an ethical or political decision, it was a reflection of where we lived and what was available. This makes it sound like we lived in Outer Mongolia. We didn’t. We lived in Europe. My mother is now retired and has started channeling Alice Waters on occasion, but when I was learning to cook making things from scratch wasn’t about being a purist, it was about being pragmatic.

That being said, I am a big believer in making food from scratch. I’m not really trying to make a political or ethical statement either, I mostly just think it tastes better. I make my own biscuits. I’m not really all that convinced that using Bisquick is any faster than making my own pancake batter. And seriously y’all, salad dressing is not that hard to make.

There are, obviously, exceptions. I buy my pie dough from the freezer case at the supermarket because I make bad pie dough, and Pillsbury tastes better than anything I can achieve. There is always a box of Ghirardelli brownie mix in my pantry for those Friday nights when you suddenly decide that you have to have something chocolaty. Then there’s corn pudding, my Class A drug of choice.

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding is the easiest recipe in the entire world. I’m not even sure you can call it cooking it’s so easy. A friend asked me recently if you could make it from scratch – this is not because she’s masochistic, this is because she had an unending amount of fresh corn lying around her house and wanted to use it. And, you could. Corn kernels are corn kernels, and creamed corn isn’t all that hard to make. Corn muffin mix probably has more sugar in it than I would put in a home made recipe for corn muffins, but it wouldn’t be that hard to approximate. On the other hand, why bother?

1 (15oz) can sweet kernel corn, drained
1 (150z) can creamed corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup butter, melted
8 oz sour cream
1 (8 ½ oz) package corn muffin mix

Mix together. Pour into a 9”x9” baking dish. Bake at 350 for 35-40 min, or until golden and slightly crispy around the edges and cooked in the middle. Serves 4-6

Chicken Fingers

By preference I use chicken tenderloins to make chicken fingers because the meat is so tender. But, cutting chicken breasts into strips works just fine too.

Assemble your work station:

1 shallow bowl (I use a pie plates) of flour
1 shallow bowl of beaten eggs (I used 3 eggs thinned with a little water)
1 shallow bowl of bread crumbs with salt/pepper/herbs mixed in (I use whatever’s on hand. Last night it was thyme, oregano, basil, salt & pepper)

It always takes more egg wash and more bread crumbs than I think it will, so seriously over estimate how much you will need.

Dip the chicken in the flour. Then the egg wash. Then the bread crumbs. This is messy and at the end of it you’ll have so much breading on your fingers you could fry them up for dinner too.

Place on a plate and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before you try to cook it. You can cook them right away, but they fry up better if you let them rest.

Melt butter and vegetable oil in a pan (butter for flavor, vegetable oil for the higher smoke point). When a bit of flour dropped into the pan sizzles add your chicken fingers and fry until done (usually somewhere around 3-5 minutes per side).

I make a lot of chicken fingers and fry them in batches. I cover them with tin foil and a towel to keep them warm while I fry the next batch. Add a little more oil/butter in between batches. If your pan dries up all you’ll end up doing is scorching the breading.



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  8. I made your corn pudding for Thanksgiving this year to try something different. It was such a hit that there was almost nothing left over! win!

    • In my experience no matter how much corn pudding you make there are never leftovers.

  9. […] Corn Pudding needs no introduction. Indeed, what words are left to describe this exquisite creation? Made of corn kernels and sunshine, held together with pure love, it is Nature’s perfect food and a time-honored remedy for colds, depression, cholera, and rickets. […]

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  12. […] couple of weeks ago I fell down a rabbit hole when I tried to reverse engineer corn pudding for my mother using actual ingredients (as opposed to Jiffy corn muffin mix and cans of creamed […]

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