Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ham and Cheese Spoon Bread

I dig spoon bread.  It's a lighter version of a casserole and a heavier version of a soufflé.  It can be served along side a bowl of soup for a cozy dinner (double bonus.. you can eat it with the same utensil you eat your soup with -- your spoon!).  Or you could serve it for brunch.  Look at that, it's so versatile.  

Here's the recipe - dig in and enjoy!

1 cup of diced ham
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped pepper
1 tablespoon of butter
2 3/4 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of pepper jack cheese
4 egg whites

1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Butter a 1 1/2 quart dish.  Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and melt the butter.  Add the ham, onion and pepper and sauté until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat.

2.  In a large sauce pan, combine milk, sugar, thyme over medium high heat.  Heat until it simmers and then add cornmeal in a constant, slow stream to the milk while whisking constantly.  After the cornmeal is added, heat for a minute or two while whisking until the mixture thickens. 

3.  Transfer cornmeal to a large bowl, add the egg yolks and let stand for 8 to 10 minutes.

4.  While the cornmeal mixture sits, beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form.

5.  Add ham, onion and pepper, cheddar cheese, and pepper jack cheese to the cornmeal mixture.

6.  Mix in 1/3 of the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture with a spoon.  Fold in the remaining 2/3 egg whites using a rubber spatula.

7.  Using the spatula, scrape cornmeal mixture into the buttered dish.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes until puffed, golden brown and set in the center. 

8.  Serve immediately with a spoon!


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