Italian cuisine: Corn Casserole
- WTI Magazine #99 Jan 20, 2018
This delicious casserole is a perfect dish when corn is in season. It could be a tasty idea for a vegetarian starter or a side dish. I usually prepare it for a dinner with my family and friends. Maize, also known as corn, is one of the most popular cereals in the world and is a staple food in many cuisines. It is a grain plant that was not cultivated in Europe before Cristoforo Colombo brought it back from America in the 16th century.
It is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. For hundreds of years polenta (made with corn flour) was a traditional food of the Northern Italian peasants, known as the poor-man’s food. Now, defying its humble origin, polenta has also been discovered by a new, sophisticated audience and is frequently found in gourmet restaurants. Corn is a gluten free cereal, therefore this recipe is suitable for people who follows a gluten free diet.
TORTINO DI MAIS (CORN CASSEROLE)
Preparation time: 50-55 minutes Baking time: 40-45 minutes Servings: 6-8
600 g (about 3 cups) corn kernels, coarsely chopped in a food processor
250 ml (1 cup) milk
170 ml (2/3 cup) heavy cream
35 g (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
15 g (1 tablespoon) butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
50 g (1/2 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease with butter a ceramic baking pan (24 cm -10 inch diameter). Set oven rack to middle position
2. In a saucepan mix milk and cream. Add the flour and mix with a wisk until smooth. This will prevent any lumps from forming. Cook 3-4 minutes (medium-high heat) stirring constantly . Lower the heat as soon as the mixture reaches a slow boil and then continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly to the right thickness (smooth and creamy). Stir constantly to ensure that it doesn’t stick or burn. Add the butter, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Stir until butter is melted. Remove from the heat and let it cool
3. In a bowl mix the corn, eggs and half of the Parmesan. Add the sauce
4. Stir the corn mixture in the baking pan
5. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese
6. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set
7. Remove from the oven. Let rest on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy it warm.