Corn Sformato with Pancetta, Tomato, English Peas, and Fontina
Sformato is loosely defined as an egg-bound, molded dish. This summery version uses corn, tomatoes, and basil and contains a creamy, cheesy center.
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- Kernels sliced from 4 ears of corn
- 1/4 cup butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 whole egg
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
- 4 ounces heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 4 ounces English peas, blanched
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Fry the pancetta in a large pan until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels, butter, and red pepper flakes; sauté until the corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer on medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the corn mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, using a spatula to force as much through as you can. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill a teakettle with water and heat it on the stove while you make the corn batter.
Add the egg, cream, and flour to the corn mixture and whisk well. Brush the insides of six 4-ounce ramekins with butter. Fill each ramekin with a scant 1/3 cup of the corn batter. Divide the grated fontina among the ramekins and then cover with the remaining corn batter.
Place the ramekins in a deep baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water from the teakettle until it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sformati are set and firm to the touch.
While the sformati are baking, toss together the tomatoes, peas, basil, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. To unmold the sformati, run a paring knife around the side of a ramekins and invert it on a plate. Carefully lift up the ramekin, leaving the sformato on the plate. Spoon some of the tomato salad onto each plate.