At the beginning of this year, noting that I had a big pile of new cookbooks, I resolved to start using my large collection of cookbooks again instead of automatically going online for ideas. The original plan was to focus on one of the new cookbooks each month. That hasn't worked out so well, but I have managed to cook a few recipes out of several of the the books in that pile. Some of my best finds have been the Spicy Pork Stew with Cumin Grits adapted from a recipe in Betty Rosbottom's Sunday Soup and the Ceviche Tacos from Mark Miller's Tacos.
One of the recipes that caught my eye in Emeril's Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh, another of the new cookbooks, was for spoonbread. Spoonbread is a traditional Southern dish, but not one I grew up eating. Since my dad is allergic to eggs, my mom figured out how to make cornbread without eggs. But there is no way to make this souffle-like dish without them. I was intrigued by the picture in the cookbook and by the technique of folding whipped egg whites into what is basically cornbread batter. My take on Emeril's spoonbread is filled with lots of green onion and fresh corn kernels.
Fresh Corn and Green Onion Spoonbread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal, divided
- 1 2/3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup minced green onion
- Kernels from 2 large ears of corn
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley and/ or thyme)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat a 9 X 13 baking dish with the butter. Then sprinkle the dish with 3 tablespoons of the cornmeal and tilt it around until the bottom and sides are all crusted.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Bring the liquids just barely to a boil, then whisk in the cup of cornmeal.
- Cook the cornmeal over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and becomes the consistency of somewhat runny grits (about 2-3 minutes).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the milk and cornmeal mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cheese, stir to combine, then set the bowl aside until the mixture is lukewarm. Stir it occasionally to keep a skim from forming.
- Lightly beat the egg yolks before adding them to the mixing bowl along with the green onions, corn, herbs, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites. With a hand-mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Very gently fold the egg whites into the batter, one-third at a time. Be careful not to deflate the whites.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until the spoonbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
The boys and I loved it. My Fresh Corn and Green Onion Spoonbread was luscious -- a light and creamy almost pudding-like texture surrounded by golden brown crust. I served it with some grilled and glazed pork loin chops, black eyed peas and fresh tomatoes sprinkled with basil for a very satisfying traditional Southern-style summer supper.
This post is linked up over at Strut Your Stuff Saturday Jam Hand's Recipe Sharing Monday and Melt in Your Mouth Monday.