Spoonbread: it’s a southern American staple. Kind of like savory a bread pudding, kind of like a soufflé, kind of really delicious. Right now I’m imagining the menu for my perfect Thanksgiving Day meal… each guest with a tiny ramekin of this good stuff. I don’t have a big house or a large table to seat my family just yet, but I can dream! I think this is like if your sweet potato mash and cornbread had a baby. It’s soft and has wonderful flavor from the sweet potato and thyme combo. A fine cornmeal gives it just enough structure to hold up. I just love the idea of digging into this with a spoon. Warm, pillow-y goodness. It’s a home-cooked comfort side that’s sure to please!
Yield: 8-10 servings — Hands-on time: 1 hr — Total Time: 2 hrs
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground red pepper
- 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal (I prefer the fine grain)
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 3 medium-size sweet potatoes, baked, peeled and mashed
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 2 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring first 5 ingredients to a simmer in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Whisk cornmeal into milk mixture in a slow, steady stream. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens and pulls away from bottom of pan. Remove from heat, and stir in butter. Cool 10 minutes.
2. Place potatoes in a large bowl; stir in cornmeal mixture. Stir in egg yolks and baking powder, stirring until well blended.
3. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold into potato mixture. Spoon batter into a well-buttered 3-qt. baking dish (or small ramekins!)
4. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. (Edges will be firm and center will still be slightly soft.) Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Southern Living, www.southernliving.com