(POSTED: July 5, 2006)
Cheddar-Corn Spoon Bread
Spoon bread, a classic southern side dish, is actually more like a pudding than a bread.
It’s so soft, it can be served—and eaten—with a spoon.
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup finely grated sharp white cheddar cheese
4 large eggs, separated
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish or casserole; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, corn, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Let cool until just warm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Stir in egg yolks until combined.
2. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the whites into cornmeal mixture until combined, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Pour into prepared dish.
3. Place dish in oven; reduce oven heat to 375 F. Bake until browned on top but still slightly loose in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Note: Folding in egg whites: To avoid deflating beaten egg whites, use quick, circular motions, running spatula down through center then up at sides. Serves 6.