A southern tradition...spoon bread is one of those things I love...it's hard to describe...not really a bread, it's almost more a souffle. It is yummy though, so, I thought I'd share.
Here's what you will need if you'd like to make spoon bread...(warning...again, this is a southern tradition...there is butter and cheese in here...in generous amounts)
Much like the polenta I made not long ago, this starts out with cooking corn meal or yellow corn grits (not corn meal mix) with a liquid...in this case milk. This version has cheese and garlic powder, the traditional version does not...if you want to go for the more traditional version, just leave them out...it's still yummy!
Corn meal or yellow corn grits
1 cup of your favorite cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
(all of those more or less to your own taste)
Turn the oven on to 400 degrees to preheat
In a small sauce pan, combine 1 part corn meal to 3 parts milk. I used 1 cup corn meal to 3 cups milk. I stir the milk SLOWLY into the corn meal to make sure there aren't any lumps when I start the cooking...then I turn on the burner, medium heat, and cook the mixture until it thickens, stirring pretty much constantly. Again, be careful during this process, and not afraid to turn down the heat if needed...it sort of erupts like Mount Vesuvius in the latter stages of cooking, and this stuff hurts if it hits you.
When it has thickened, take it off the heat and let sit to cool a bit. While it is cooling, separate your eggs, and, into the yolks, add the garlic powder, salt, nutmeg and pepper and beat in.
Beat the egg whites until they are stiff.
At this point, I put some butter into the baking dish I plan to bake this in and put it in the oven to melt. Stir the cheese into the still warm corn meal mixture.
To lessen the chance of the eggs curdling when you add them to the corn meal mixture, temper the yolks buy stirring in a large spoonful of the warm cornmeal mixture, then add the tempered yolks to the corn meal mix and stir in well. Fold this into the stiffly beaten egg whites.
Pop it in the hot oven and bake it for about 45 minutes...and you should have something that looks like this. It's warm, and cheesy, and dense and fluffy all at the same time. Great served as a side with roasted veggies.
And, if you prefer it more a little more dense...skip the egg white step. Use the whole egg to stir the seasonings into, temper that mixture, then stir it onto the warm, cooked, corn meal mixture, and pop that into the baking pan. The baking time stays the same.