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Chile-Cheese Custard with Corn

Makes: 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 14 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

This deliciously cheesy and corn-studded egg bake is a little self-conscious about not being a salad, so let me sing its summery praises: it will be ready to bake by the time the oven is preheated; you will dirty only one bowl and a baking dish; it is lovely eaten at room temperature or even cold; and it makes the most of a couple of ears of summer corn – enough for a cup of kernels, but not enough to serve on the cob. (Frozen corn is a perfectly acceptable substitute, however.) If you’ve never bought canned green chiles before, do try them here. You’ll find them in the Mexican food aisle of your supermarket in a tiny little can, and unless they say otherwise, they’re quite mild.


Olive oil spray or olive oil

4 large eggs

¾ teaspoon kosher salt (or a scant ½ teaspoon table salt)

2 cups half and half (or 1 cup each whole milk and cream)

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 (4-ounce) tin chopped fire-roasted green chiles, drained well and blotted a bit with a paper towel

1 cup corn kernels, either cut fresh from 2 cobs or thawed from frozen

4 ounces Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, grated

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and/or slivered scallions (skip if you don’t have either)


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a deep pie plate or an 8-inch square baking dish with olive oil spray (or olive oil and a paper towel).

  2. Whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt, and cornmeal. Stir in the chiles, corn kernels, grated cheese, and cilantro and/or scallions.

  3. Tip the egg mixture into the baking dish and bake for around 30 minutes, until the custard is golden and browning and just barely jiggles when you jiggle it. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold, with a green (or kale) salad.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]