Spoon bread is a custardy cousin to cornbread, with a texture so soft and rich that it can be served by the scoop. “To me, it feels like a fun hybrid of cornbread and soufflé,” says Steven Satterfield, who earlier this year won a James Beard Award for his work at Miller Union in Atlanta. “It’s kind of decadent.” Satterfield didn’t grow up on spoon bread. But the first time he tried the buttery nineteenth-century cornmeal casserole, he noted a resemblance to a staple of his Savannah childhood: corn pudding. Satterfield bridges the gap between the two by adding fresh corn kernels and scallions to his spoon-bread batter. “That gives you the best of both worlds,” he says. Bring a skilletful to the table with seasonal favorites like fried chicken, sliced tomatoes, and simmered field peas. “This is a pretty versatile dish,” Satterfield says. “It can fill in anywhere you’d serve sweet corn.”
Scallion & Fresh Corn Spoon Bread
An updated classic
photo: Peter Frank Edwards
2 cups corn kernels (from about 4 cobs)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup fine white cornmeal
2 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the skillet
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or an 8-inch-by-8-inch casserole dish well with butter and set aside. Add kernels to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Reserve.
Heat milk, water, and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edges. Then whisk in cornmeal and cook until thickened, 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter, then scallions, kernels, and nutmeg. Mix well. Let the mixture cool, then vigorously whisk in eggs. Sprinkle cream of tartar and baking soda over the mixture and stir to combine.
Pour batter into the skillet or casserole dish and place in the oven. Bake for 30–45 minutes, rotating once halfway through, until the center is set but still a little bit jiggly and the top is lightly browned.
Spoon bread should inflate while cooking and deflate as it cools. Allow to cool for 15–30 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta, Georgia
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