Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I have to admit that I had never heard of spoon bread before making this recipe. Apparently it's quite popular in the Southern US, and is served alongside meats for lunch or dinner, or with syrup for breakfast. It's not a bread in the traditional sense, more like a cross between cornbread and a souffle. It's quite delicious, and although this is the first recipe for it I've tried, I'm willing to bet that it's one of the better ones just because it comes from America's Test Kitchen. I can imagine that it would be fantastic with a Pot Roast, or with Pulled Pork or BBQ Chicken. Anything that has a bit of sauce or juices to soak up would be good. Try it out. And to my Southern friends, what do YOU serve spoon bread with? Leave a comment and let me know, because I want to make it again!
Recipe by America's Test Kitchen
3 cups half-and-half (no substitutions, or the texture and volume with suffer!)
1 tsp salt
1 cup white or yellow cornmeal (fine-ground is better if you have it)
2 Tbs butter
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1-2 tsp water
Heat oven to 350F. Butter or grease a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish, or an 8-inch high-sided cast iron skillet.
Bring half-and-half and salt to a simmer in a large heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to low, then slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Don't stop whisking or you'll end up with lumps. Once cornmeal is all added, continue whisking for another 2 minutes or so, until it thickens and develops a satin sheen. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks and 1-2 tsp water until lemon-colored and very frothy, about 2 minutes. Stir them into the slightly cooled mush, a little at a time so the yolks don't set. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they just form stiff peaks, but they still look wet. Gently fold them into the mush.
Pour the mixture (or spread--it's rather thick) into the greased souffle dish. Bake until the spoon bread is golden brown and has risen about the rim of the dish, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately. If you don't serve immediately, it will fall a bit, but will still taste delicious. You can refrigerate leftovers and eat them with syrup for breakfast.
You can also add in 1/2 cup grated cheese along with the butter if you'd like a cheesy variation.