Craving a savory Southern dish? You may want to consider whipping up spoon bread, which can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and either as a side dish or a main course.
Spoon bread is a lovely hybrid of a dish, claiming the middle ground between cornbread and soufflé,” explains Tanya Holland, the executive chef and owner of California’s Brown Sugar Kitchen.
Unlike too-crumbly cornbread, spoon bread can be baked with a medley of ingredients, including fresh veggies and cheeses, which is why Holland believes it’s “a great recipe for adventurous cooks.” But for her take on spoon bread, Holland loads up on meaty sliced mushrooms, giving it a thicker, heartier texture with super-satisfying results. When paired with cheddar cheese and sweet creamy butter, you might not need anything else on your plate — or in your tummy.
Rich, eggy and downright delish, spoon bread is delightfully easy to make and even easier to enjoy:
Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread
COOKING METHOD: Bake
YIELD: 5 servings
4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3 shallots, minced
1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups whole milk
1 cup cornmeal
2 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
4 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 1½-quart/1.4-liter baking or soufflé dish.
In a sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edges. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, reduce the heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, followed by the cheddar cheese. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form — the tips of the peaks should curl down slightly when the beaters are lifted. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the spoon bread is puffed and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Serve immediately.