How to make spoon bread, Appalachian-style.
If you’re from the South, you may have grown up on spoon bread (also written as spoonbread.) You’re even more likely to have a taste for spoon bread if you live in Kentucky, where the soft, souffle-like bread dish is so revered that it has its own festival (The Spoonbread Festival, held yearly in Berea.)
What is spoon bread? Made with cornmeal and baked in the oven, it could be described as a cross between polenta, a souffle, and the savory puddings so common in the United Kingdom. Its name derives from the fact that its soft, custard-like texture requires the use of a spoon to eat it.
Like many Appalachian recipes, spoonbread varies from region to region. There are those who swear by adding whole kernels of corn to the mixture, and in parts of Louisiana, the inclusion of andouille sausage is de rigeur. Some Southerners drizzle their spoonbread with maple syrup, and some top it with a dollop of butter.
This spoonbread recipe is a basic recipe that should please most purists, but it can also be a template for variations. Try stirring in whole kernel corn, cheese, chopped peppers, or even whip up a batch of the Cajun-style andouille sausage spoonbread.
Spoonbread makes a complete Southern-style meal with a side of turnip or kale greens, with pork and pinto beans, or in lieu of cornbread with a bowl of steaming chili. You can also serve it as a savory side accompaniment to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Spoon Bread Recipe
Butter for greasing casserole dish
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
5 large eggs, beaten
2 cups whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Gradually add cornmeal to boiling water and cook for five minutes while stirring. The results at this point will resemble a cornmeal mush. Remove from heat and let cool at least ten minutes. Stir in salt, baking powder, butter, eggs and milk. Pour the mixed batter into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, until spoon bread is set and lightly browned. Serve immediately. (Serves 6.)
Top with lots of salt and pepper, butter or maple syrup as your taste dictates.
More Classic Southern Recipes:
Cabbage and Ham Bone Soup Recipe
Corn Pudding Recipe
Oven-Fried Okra Recipe
Butter Bean Soup Recipe
Oyster Po’ Boy Sliders Recipe
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