Southern Corn Spoonbread
This Southern dish is a hybrid of cornbread and a corn soufflé. The addition of sweet and spicy peppers offers enhanced flavor and nutrition.
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
¾ cup onion, diced
1 cup roasted red pepper, diced
⅓ cup jalapeño, diced
4 medium eggs, separated
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
3 cups whole milk
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3-inch deep, 1 ½ quart baking or soufflé dish
Electric hand or stand mixer
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Oil a 3-inch deep 1 ½ quart baking/soufflé dish or a cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
- Heat the oil in a separate, smaller skillet over medium heat.
- Season the oil with ground pepper and cumin and allow the spices to infuse flavor into the oil and release their aroma.
- Add the onion, red pepper and jalapeño. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Whisk the cornmeal and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine 1 cup of the milk and add to the cornmeal and baking powder. Mix well.
- Scald the remaining 2 cups of milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the cornmeal mixture to the warm milk in the saucepan.
- Cook and whisk continually over medium-low heat, until the mixture thickens (you’ll begin to see the bottom of the pan as you whisk), about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, sugar, butter and sautéed vegetables.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
- Fold in the egg whites, carefully and gently.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish or skillet.
- Bake until the spoonbread is puffed, with a golden-brown crust, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- Serve with additional butter, like you would cornbread.