Cornbread Lab continues with Collard Cornbread Pudding.
Collard Cornbread Pudding makes a big winter side dish for the holidays and beyond that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. Unlike cornbread dressing that’s moistened with broth and an egg or two, this is a real bread pudding held together with a savory milk custard. The collards are a nice sturdy green that take well to baking but without the bitterness or sharpness of turnip greens. Kale would be a good alternate choice. Red bell pepper adds color and a bit of sweetness.
Of course, don’t make this with a bag of store-bought cornbread crumbs. You’ve got to make actual cornbread! We started with a skillet of southern cornbread, very crisp and not sweet so the dish is definitely savory. If you take the opposite route and use sweet cornbread made from a Yankee recipe or from a little blue box, the character of the dish will be completely different. You decide.
The custard, cornbread, and onion make up the backbone of the recipe so you can alter the rest. Here’s where a little creative experimentation can come in. Substitute chopped cooked broccoli or broccoli rabe for the greens, add cooked corn, change up the color of the bell pepper, use leeks instead of onion. Adding crumbled cooked sausage, chopped kielbasa, cooked chicken or turkey chunks or chopped ham will turn the pudding into a meaty main dish casserole. Swap the Parmesan for another cheese. Leave out the garlic or add other seasonings. Think about all your favorite quiche recipes, except the custard is poured over cornbread.
- 1 pound collard greens
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Hot pepper flakes, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 5 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
- 6 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Cook the collard greens in about 3 cups boiling salted water in a large pot until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Cook the onion and bell pepper in the oil in a skillet over medium heat until the onion is translucent and the pepper is tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking a couple of minutes longer. Add the vegetable mixture to the greens.
Stir in the cornbread, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper and blend well.
Place the cornbread mixture in
Whisk the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk. Pour the mixture over the cornbread.
Sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese.
Allow to sit for about 15 minutes while you heat up the oven to 350 F. Or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until time to bake.
Bake 45 minutes or until puffy, and golden brown. You will have to bake it a little longer, about 1 hour if the casserole is cold. Allow it to sit at room temperature while you heat the oven.