looking for a delicious & easy holiday side? look no further than my trusty old corn bread pudding. it’s the BEST dish (like stuffing + cornbread had a sweet, sweet baby), is super versatile, and it only takes a little over hour to throw together AND bake.
i think it is amazing for a holiday meal [ahem, thanksgiving is just a few days away!] because it delivers the creamy/bready goodness of stuffing PLUS the crispy crunch of cornbread. in terms of versatility, you can be a straight shooter and use butter like the recipe calls for. OR you can go buck wild and use bacon fat (and hell, why not throw a little bacon in too?) when sweating the onions.
if you’re making this for a holiday dinner, you can plan ahead a little and tear up the bread a day beforehand. it’s also very easy to make a few hours ahead of time, underbake it a little, and finished it off in the oven while your turkey or roast is resting.
you can, of course, make it on the fly as i do rather often 😉
corn bread pudding
- 3 c crusty french bread torn into bite-sized pieces (about 3/4 baguette)
- 2 c heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 c frozen corn kernels, thawed & sprinkled with 1 t sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c cornmeal
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 shredded parmesan
- 1 t salt
- pinch each of nutmeg & cayenne pepper
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 T butter or bacon fat (+ optional chopped bacon ends & pieces)
- 1/2 t each of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, & sage
- additional herbs for garnishing
preheat oven to 350 F.
using a 10-12″ ovenproof skillet (cast iron is best but any ovenproof skillet will do!), melt the butter/fat over low heat and sweat the onions with the chopped herbs until the onions are translucent but not yet brown. turn off the burner but don’t remove the skillet (this will keep it warm).
in a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup of the cream and the corn. mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to break up the kernels a bit, then add the remaining cream, eggs, cornmeal, baking powder, cheese, salt, & spices, whisking together until combined.
fold the bread into the cream mixture, making sure that the bread is completely saturated by the liquid. pour it into the skillet, directly on top of the onions, and press into an even layer. top with a nice sprinkle of salt and black pepper, plus any additional sprigs of herbs, then place in the pre-heated oven. bake for 40-50 minutes or until set and beginning to brown on the top and around the edges.
allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. prepare to bask in the glow of all the compliments you’ll get.