When I think of pudding, what comes to mind is steamed, syrupy sponges or bread soaked in egg & milk & baked until crusty & golden. I completely forget about steak & kidney pudding, about Yorkshire pudding. Haggis, Kugel & pease pudding all slip my mind. Even the Spinach & Stilton bread pudding that I sometimes make (which MikeyFox would gladly eat every day, but I only ever make in early summer when there's an excess of it in the garden) is forgotten. Why do I have it stuck in my head that pudding is sweet?
In Mexico Budín (from the French boudin - pudding) can be both savoury & sweet too.
There are desserts like Budín de Limon, a rich sponge pudding made with ground almonds & lime zest.
But there are also the savoury vegetable dishes (no, I'm not making it up. Savoury. Vegetable. Puddings) such as the Sopa Seca (which means 'dry soup'. They're not dry, and they're not soups either, but rice, pasta or tortillas cooked in a rich sauce until they absorb all the liquid. So they start out soupy & end up dry) budíns; layers of tortillas, salsa & vegetables (usually mushrooms or sweetcorn) topped with cheese & baked in the oven until the tortillas have absorbed the sauce and softened, like a sort-of Mexican lasagne. One of my favourite things to make and eat.
And then there's the other budín. The one that resembles Southern USA's Spoonbread. Light, almost souffle-like, with a little bit of wobble to it. Kind of like a quiche without the pastry.
And that's what today's recipe is.
Budín de Calabacita (Courgette pudding)
225g Courgette, grated
50g Pumpkin seeds
50g Masa Harina (or fine cornmeal)
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp oregano
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Fry the onion in the oil until softened. Add the garlic, then remove from the heat & stir in the courgettes. Add the breadcrumbs, masa harina, pumpkin seeds (saving a few for decoration), herb & seasonings. Add the milk & mix well. Spoon the mix into a greased flan tin & top with the reserved pumpkin seeds. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with salad, steamed veg, a rich mole or as a not-entirely-guilty late night snack (it is made of vegetables after all!).
This is a good recipe for mucking about with. Courgette flowers are a classic ingredient, as is sweetcorn, but any veg you have lying around will work. Brussels sprouts are surprisingly good, especially is you add a bit of blue cheese. If you fancy something a bit spicy, a teaspoon of smoked paprika would go down well. Or substitute the milk for fromage frais, cream cheese or quark.
Om nom nom!