to warm the cockles of your heart
by Bella Rum
I hesitate to write about how cold it is here because I’ve seen the brutal temps in the Midwest and Northeast. It wasn’t as cold this morning as yesterday (13ºF). Well, I told you. Everything is relative, isn’t it? And dreary! Now, that’s where we excel. It’s dark and wet and raw. Outside my window, I see a precious few brittle, brown leaves still clinging desperately to the bare limbs of my neighbor’s beech tree. It is the saddest sight.
Then, why do I love it? I love a dreary, dark, rainy, cold day. It gives me an excuse to curl up with a book or make a pot of chili. So I did. I made a pot of chili with a new recipe, and I didn’t like it. I’ve looked for a new recipe for a while, but I just can’t seem to find the right one. I feel the same way about my barbecue sauce. I’ve improved it, but I’m never quite satisfied with it. Like a middle-school-aged boy, I may like it, but I always think it could be a little better.
But wait! I do have a winner. Along with the new chili recipe, I tried a new spoon bread recipe. I liked my old one, but this one looked pretty in the picture. Don’t you love pretty? It’s kind of like a soufflé. You beat egg whites until their stiff and fold them into the cornmeal mixture. It puffs up and then deflates a little. Top your serving with some butter – the real stuff – and you will like it even more. Don’t remind me that I said I was going on a diet. I lied. I will, I will. Eventually.
Southern Spoon Bread
4 eggs, separated
1 cup cornmeal
3 cups whole milk (you can try 2%)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar, a big pinch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. butter a deep (3-inch) 1 1/2-quart baking or soufflé dish. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form; set them aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and 1 cup of the milk. In a medium saucepan, scald the remaining 2 cups milk. Add the cornmeal mixture to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, 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; stir in the salt, sugar, and butter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until the spoonbread is puffed, with a golden brown crust. About 1 hour. Serve with lots of butter.
Source: Simply So Good