Spoonbread...have you ever tried it? If you have, then you know it's really nothing like cornbread. If you haven't, think of it as a savory pudding or cornmeal souffle. It cannot be cut into slices like cornbread, but instead is scooped out with a spoon. The bites closest to the edge have a firmer texture while the bites closest to the center are moist and light in texture. Spoonbread can be flavored as you would any souffle, with different cheeses and herbs. Ellie's recipe features goat cheese and chives, which pairs perfectly with my Thanksgiving dinner, but feel free to change it up as you like.
Here the goat cheese is mixed into the warm cornmeal and melts into the base of the mixture, leaving behind a wonderful tangy flavor. That tangy flavor is balanced by the burst of sweet flavor from the fresh corn kernels. Finally, the chives (quite possibly my favorite herb) are magical. Not only are the chives pretty, but they kick the spoonbread up a notch with their subtle oniony flavor. Give this a try in place of your corn or cornbread this Thanksgiving. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!
Adapted from The Washington Post
2 cups low-fat milk (1 percent)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 2 ears)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre; 1/2 cup
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 large eggs, separated into whites and yolks
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to grease a 2-quart souffle dish or high-sided baking dish. Combine the milk and corn in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to medium and gradually stir in the cornmeal. Cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens to a dough-like consistency. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the cheese and salt until evenly distributed (the white should disappear). Transfer to a mixing bowl; let cool for 15 minutes, then whisk in the chives and egg yolks until well incorporated.
Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium-low speed until foamy, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form.
Fold a third of the beaten egg whites into the cornmeal mixture to loosen it a bit, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until no trace of white is left. Transfer to the baking dish; bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until slightly puffed, golden brown on top and just set.
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