This was supposed to be spoon bread. But I forgot to divide by two.
You see, spoon bread is typically made by cooking cornmeal in boiling water or scalded milk and blending with eggs to bake up something like a soufflé. I planned to use tofu instead of eggs. The recipes I was using as a guide called for between 3 and 5 eggs, which would be about 8 ounces of tofu. Somewhere in writing up the recipe, I made a math mistake and ended up using the whole block.
Sometimes when I cook I feel like Michael Bolton in the movie Office Space. “I must’ve put a decimal in the wrong place or something… I always mess up some mundane detail.” Only in this case, instead of committing a very obvious fraud, I made an incredibly rich pudding! While it wasn’t what I was expecting, by the second bite, I was crazy for it. The pudding gets better after it stands out of the oven for 20 minutes or so and is even better reheated the next day. This also makes a stellar breakfast.
The chilies aren’t distinct here but they provide a welcome warming note. I’d suggest if you don’t want to use them, to include a 4 ounce jar of pimientos or 1/2 cup diced roasted red bell pepper in their place. Since the spinach is fresh, it gives off a good bit of water into the pudding while it bakes. Thus, if you substitute frozen, thawed spinach, don’t squeeze it dry.
Baked Corn Pudding with Spinach and Green Chilies
1 cup cornmeal
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup soy creamer or other non-diary milk, divided
4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 14 to 16-ounce package firm tofu
1 cup corn, frozen okay
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and chopped, about 8 ounces
1 4-ounce can mild roasted, diced chilies
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a 3-quart casserole dish. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cornmeal, water and 1/2 cup of the creamer or milk. Cook, stirring frequently with a wire whisk, over medium heat until mixture thickens. Whisk in margarine. Transfer to a large bowl.
Chop the garlic in a food processor. Add tofu, corn, and the remaining 1/4 cup creamer. Process until smooth. Stir into the cornmeal mixture with a large spoon. Add the spinach, roasted chilies, baking powder, salt and white pepper. Mix well; this will take more effort than you probably expect. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until crispy and firm at the edges – the middle will still be a bit jiggly. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 5 main dish servings or 10 sides.