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Roasted Hatch Chili Corn Pudding With Scallions

Roasted Hatch Chili Corn Pudding With Scallions
T. Susan Chang for NPR

If you haven't tried Hatch chilies (grown in Hatch, N.M.), wait no longer. Smooth-skinned and light green, their sweetness and subdued fire come out when you roast them over a hot flame or in a heavy pan. They're in season at the same time as corn. Coincidence? I think not. If you can't get Hatch chilies, try other green chilies, such as poblano or serrano.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 green Hatch chilies

6 scallions, halved lengthwise and chopped into 6-inch lengths

6 ears fresh corn, husked

1/4 cup ricotta

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup whole or 2 percent milk

5 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter in a baking dish (an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish or iron skillet works well) and slide into the oven so the butter melts while the oven is preheating.

Heat a heavy pan (preferably an iron skillet) over a medium-high flame. When the surface is hot enough to make a water droplet dance, toss the chilies and scallions into the dry pan. Lightly char the scallions, turning them with tongs, and remove to a cutting board. Let the chilies blister and blacken a little on the surface, but not so much that the chilies start to cook. Drop the charred chilies in a paper bag, and allow them to steam while you prepare the rest of the batter.

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the kernels off 4 ears of corn. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the remaining ears. Set aside the grated and ungrated corn kernels.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta and eggs, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the corn kernels, sugar, milk, flour and salt.

Remove the chilies from the bag and rub off the blackened skins as best you can (don't run the peppers under water). Stem and seed them, and chop roughly, along with the charred scallions. Add them to the corn mixture.

When the oven has preheated and the butter in the baking dish has melted, carefully tilt the melted butter from the baking dish into the corn mixture and combine with a few swift strokes. Then tilt the buttered corn mixture back into the baking dish.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a golden crust has formed and the interior has set.

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