Spicy Corn Souffle
1 medium red sweet pepper*
6 ears fresh sweet corn
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 small jalapeño pepper**, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
Halve sweet pepper lengthwise; remove stem, seeds, and membranes. Place pepper halves, cut sides down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in 425°F oven 20 to 25 minutes. Bring foil up around pepper to enclose. Let stand 15 minutes or until cool. Loosen edges of skin with sharp knife; gently pull off skin in strips and discard. Dice roasted pepper.
Separate eggs; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice corn kernels off cobs; reserve. Cut corn cobs in half crosswise. In Dutch oven, combine corn cobs, half the reserved corn, and half-and-half. Bring to boiling over low heat. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Remove corn cobs from Dutch oven. Cool slightly. Use blunt side of knife to scrape half-and-half and corn juices from cobs. Discard cobs. Transfer half-and-half mixture and scrapings to blender. Cover; blend until smooth. Strain mixture through medium-mesh strainer.
In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; stir constantly 2 minutes. Add pureed corn mixture; stir until mixture thickens, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish. Add egg yolks to half-and-half mixture, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Fold in remaining reserved corn, roasted red sweet pepper, jalapeño pepper, paprika, salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Fold in cheese.
In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold one-fourth of whites into corn mixture. Fold remaining egg whites into corn mixture. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake about 15 minutes or until puffed, golden brown, and knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
*Step 1 may be skipped by substituting 1/3 cup diced bottled roasted red sweet pepper.
** Because hot chile peppers, such as jalapeños, contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.