For an everyday meal in Kentucky, grits are fine. But for special occasions, it has to be corn pudding.
This silky smooth concoction has been dished up at practically every celebration in Kentucky for the last 200 years, says Ouita Michel, chef and owner of the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Ky. “Corn pudding is a real old-American recipe,” she says. “We have so much corn here, and it’s something you could make right on the farm with just corn, eggs, milk and a little flour.”
Though you’ll always find corn pudding at church potlucks and family gatherings, no two puddings are exactly alike. Some cooks swear by creamed corn; others will not make it unless they have fresh on hand. Some use cream and no flour; others separate the eggs. But no one uses yellow corn. “Around here, yellow corn is for the animals,” Michel says. The variations are endless. “But no matter the version, it’s served with everything around here.” Michel explains, “It’s what you call your silver bullet—it never goes wrong.”
By Jeanette Hurt, a food writer in Milwaukee, Wis.