Corn, Bacon, and Serrano Ramekins
Makes 12 ramekins
I'm always trying to come up with new side dishes for this time of year, and that's where the idea for this dish came from. The fact that it can be prepared ahead, makes it a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving when oven space is always at a premium. It uses frozen corn, which saves a lot of prep time, another plus in my book.
2 cups half & half
8 large eggs
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups) extra sweet frozen corn, defrosted (divided use)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika plus more for garnish
6 strips of thick sliced bacon
1 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 serrano chiles, finely diced (seeded if you wish)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place 12 – 6 ounce ramekins in a large roasting pan. Heat water for a water bath.
In a food processor or blender, add the half & half, eggs, 3 cups corn, 1 teaspoon salt, and paprika. Process until corn is finely chopped. Set aside.
Cook the bacon in a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Once cool, crumble and divide between the ramekins.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Scoop in the onion and saute until golden brown. Add the garlic, serranos, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, saute for 1 minute until the garlic becomes aromatic. Scrape in the remaining 1 1/2 cups corn and continue cooking until mixture is hot. Evenly distribute the corn mixture between the ramekins. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the vegetables and stir to combine.
Set the roasting pan in the center of the oven and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until the custard is just set in the middle. Sprinkle the tops with smoked paprika. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later as described in the testing notes.
Let the custard cool to room temperature, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Re-warm in the microwave at 50% power until warmed through.