Like a soufflé but less temperamental, this pudding can be served either straight from the oven or at room temperature. Don't worry if you can't find fresh corn; frozen kernels work just fine.
Food & Wine JANUARY 1998
1. Heat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish or another shallow baking dish of about the same size. In a medium nonstick frying pan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the ham, salt, and black pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine the corn and half-and-half in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, and cayenne. Blend thoroughly.
3. Spoon the bell-pepper mixture into the prepared baking dish and then sprinkle the Monterey jack over the top. Pour the egg mixture over all. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Variations:: · Omit the ham for a meatless version, or replace it with crumbled cooked chorizo for a spicier pudding.
Wine Recommendation: Look for a gentle and fruity merlot from Chile. These wines have the wonderful soft texture and ripe-berry flavors one expects from merlot, along with somewhat earthy undertones that will marry nicely with the corn.
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