This week, Chef Andy Wagenbrenner from Woodinville’s Purple Cafe shares a recipe you can try out now that fresh corn is plentiful!

Chef Andy:
“Corn is one of my favorite summertime ingredients, not just for its wonderful sweetness but also for its versatility. Whether simply blanched and slathered in butter and salt (still my favorite), pureed in soups, grilled, or combined with squash and beans for succotash, the possibilities for corn are nearly endless.

The following recipe for a savory corn pudding is something we served in the restaurant last summer. The sweetness of corn is combined with smoky bacon, salty olives, a little heat from red pepper flakes and the heady aroma of basil. The list of ingredients is short and readily available. Find the freshest farmer’s market corn you can and use it immediately. I liken the methodology to making risotto: adding liquid, letting it absorb, and adding a little more until you achieve a creamy consistency.

Pair it with a Chardonnay like Mark Ryan’s ‘The Vincent’. Chardonnay is a perfect pairing for corn thanks to both being versatile. The Vincent is 100% Chardonnay and has nice texture and roundness on the palate but a refreshing amount of acidity balances it perfectly. The fresh notes of apples and lush citrus fruits with a well-rounded mouthfeel really plays well with the components of the dish. It’s a perfect summer combination!”

Savory Corn Pudding

8 ears of fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2T butter, unsalted
1T extra virgin olive oil
1c onion, small dice
1t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2c whole milk, divided
1c fresh basil, chiffonade
8 slices crispy bacon, chopped
3oz castelvetrano or other green olive, pitted and quartered
Salt and Sugar to taste

1. Grate the corn with a box grater into a large bowl. With the back of a knife, press a y remaining liquid from the corn cobs into the bowl as well.
2. Over medium-low heat, sweat the onions with the butter and olive oil, until just translucent and soft. The onions should not brown. About 10 minutes. Add red pepper flake and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Add all the corn and its liquid. Cook until liquid absorbs. Add 1/4c milk and cook until it absorbs.
4. Reduce heat and add remaining 1/4c milk and cook for five more minutes until mixture is creamy.
5. Stir in basil, olives, and bacon. Reserving a small amount to garnish. Serve immediately.