Tuesday, November 29, 2011
White Cheddar Spoon Bread
Spoon Bread is a Southern "comfort food" and for sure more popular in the South than here in Utah. I'd never tried it until I made it on my own. It's beautiful and easy and delicious. I did a little research and made my own recipe, after reading several others. It's base is cornmeal so it truly does resemble bread and polenta. I added white cheddar to my version and am pleased with the results. I'm a huge fan of polenta so I knew I would probably love this dish. I also like warm comfort foods and souffles (I read this dish described as "cornbread souffle"... love that!). Be patient. There are a few steps and you can't walk away from the cooking process here. I am going to deliver as basic a process as possible. Try it. My family gobbled it up and it makes a really pretty accompaniment to a holiday meal.
White Cheddar Spoon Bread (Spoonbread)
1 1/2C cornmeal (yellow or white)
1 1/2t salt
2C whole milk
1C half & half
4 eggs (separated)
2t baking powder
1C grated white cheddar
heat your oven to 350. Butter a souffle dish. In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil and heat to near scalding then remove from heat and whisk in the cornmeal mixture. Separate the eggs. Return to heat and stir the butter in, with a rubber spatula, until completely melted. Add the baking powder. Temper the egg yolk mixture by adding 1/4 cup of the cornmeal mixture and combining then an additional 1/4 cup and combining. Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the rest of the cornmeal and turn the heat off once more. stir the cheese in and continue to stir until completely combined. With a handheld beater, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then fold them into the cornmeal mixture with the rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared souffle dish and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to "sink" at the table. Serve by "spooning" onto serving plates.
*The spoon bread should rise above the rim of the dish, while baking, then sink in the center, when removed from heat. The same way a souffle would.