Southern corn pudding gets a lil' sassier. We lose the sugar and gain a lot in return. Instead of just cream or milk, sharp-as-heck cheddar and buttermilk join the party. Meanwhile, onion and garlic add oomph, and mustard and hot sauce cut through all the richness. Make no mistake—corn is still star here. It just has some new (and improved!) backup singers. —Emma Laperruque
Set a medium skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it’s melted, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Turn off the heat. Add the garlic and mustard, and stir. Let cool while you tend to the rest of the recipe.
Heat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9x9 inch baking dish (or other 1 1/2 quart–sized baking dish).
Combine the cream, buttermilk, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and hot sauce in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk with a fork until smooth. Combine the corn kernels, cheddar, cornmeal, and baking powder in another, larger bowl. Stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Add the cooled onion mixture and stir. Add the liquid mixture and stir. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for about 45 minutes until the casserole has puffed up, is deeply browned along the edges, and browning on top. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.