In case (like I was) you’re under the illusion that Spoon Bread is actual bread, let me shatter that illusion for you. It’s not. It’s more like a soufflé. In fact, there’s no flour in it all and it contains just a pinch of cornmeal. A pinch! Despite knowing these things going into making this dish, I still thought it would actually taste like bread. Really you shouldn’t have the name bread in a dish if it’s not going to taste like bread.
- 1 1/2 c. milk (or a combination of milk and half-and-half)
- 1/2 c. cornmeal (I used blue)
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 jalapeño peppers, chopped
- 1 T. margarine
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs
- In a large saucepan combine milk and cornmeal. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. (This will not take very long at all. Two or three minutes, probably.) Remove from heat.
- Add cheese, jalapeño, butter, baking powder, sugar and salt; stir until cheese melts. (Mine definitely didn’t melt completely – this didn’t seem to matter.)
- Separate eggs. Add yolks, one at a time. Stir after each addition until just combined. (The mixture will be thick.)
- In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into cornmeal mixture in thirds until combined. Spoon into an ungreased 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish.
- Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Much like dessert breads, I found I had to bake this longer than recommended. Maybe it’s my oven?! The ‘bread’ was a little jiggly after 45 minutes (which was the low-end of what’s recommended in the original recipe) so I continued to bake. I’m pretty sure I baked this for either 55 or 60 minutes.
Like any egg dish, this bread/soufflé puffs up when you’re baking and then deflates when it cools.
With four whole jalapeño peppers in this dish, it was pretty spicy. Great flavor, but I couldn’t get over the texture. I kept thinking it should feel a bit more substantial. You know. Like actual bread.