Friday, March 19, 2010

Ever heard of spoon bread?

Well, I tried a new recipe from my Williams-Sonoma American cookbook...Rosemary Spoon Bread.  It sounded intriguing and I imagined something similar to corn bread.  I have to say this was NOT a success.  Now I just need to figure out what went wrong...

First, I failed to do some research to really understand what spoon bread is.  It is a moist cornmeal based "bread" more like the consistency of pudding or casserole and resembles a cornmeal souffle.  It is a classic element of Southern cuisine and corn, vegetables or cheese are commonly added.  OK, it did look like a souffle as it was baking in the oven, but it never "dried" on the inside.  I may have used a dish that was too deep because the top was golden brown and the inside was like runny scrambled eggs!

Speaking of scrambled eggs...the recipe calls for heating milk, adding cornmeal and cooking on the stove top.  Then you add egg yolks, milk and rosemary.  As soon as I added the egg yolk mixture all I could smell was scrambled eggs.  The eggs did not appear to cook as I added them to the hot cornmeal mixture but maybe they did.  Next time I will try to temper the eggs first and see if that makes a difference.

Next, whipped egg whites are folded into the mixture.  This was fairly straightforward.  I ended up baking this dish for more than double the time stated in the recipe and every time I tested it the skewer came out wet.  I know it shouldn't need to set because the recipe says serve immediately. 

So this could have been a compilation of errors or maybe I just don't like the texture of spoon bread.  Either way, it did smell good and I do think I will try again.  Maybe with a larger pan, cooking the cornmeal on the stove top longer and adding just a little less milk. 

Anyone out there know the secret to spoon bread?

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