Monday, February 28, 2011

Corny Corn Spoon Bread

2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 to 3 ears)
1 T unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated

Preparing the spoon bread:
Soak the cornmeal in milk for a few minutes before simmering. It eliminates grit and beating the egg whites with cream of tartar makes for a more stable foam and a higher rise.

Saute the kernels in butter will intensify their flavor, as does adding a little sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Steep the cooked corn in milk (along with the ears the corn kernals were cut from) before adding it to the cornmeal mixture. This will spread the deep, sweet flavor of sautéed corn throughout the spoonbread.

To remedy the chewy texture, puree the corn and milk in the blender for a silky mixture that resembles (and tastes) like cream of corn soup. Incorporated into the spoonbread, this “corn milk” produces a light, creamy texture and sweet corn taste.

Bring corn milk, cornmeal mixture, butter, and salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then whisk in yolks.

Beat whites and a pinch of salt and cream of tartar with an electric mixer at medium speed to the stiff–peak stage. Whisk one fourth of whites into cornmeal mixture in pan to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Spread mixture evenly in a buttered 9 1/2-inch deep-dish glass pie plate or 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole and bake in middle of oven until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately as, like a soufflĂ©, spoon bread collapses quickly.

Serves 6


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