Sweet Potato Spoon­bread for prac­tice Thanks­giv­ing

Kuwait Times - - FOOD - By Katie Work­man

I’ve been prac­tic­ing Thanks­giv­ing. That’s be­cause I al­most never make the same things from year to year. I’ve al­ready brought you a big pile a greens (Creamy Swiss Chard with Co­conut) as well as a bour­bon and mo­lasses glazed turkey drum­stick recipe. Greens. Bour­bon. Mo­lasses. This is shap­ing up to be a very South­ern “prac­tice” Thanks­giv­ing. If you’ve spent some time in a South­ern kitchen I’m sure you know spoon­bread. If not then you might not re­al­ize how per­fect spoon­bread is as a Thanks­giv­ing side dish.

Spoon­bread has many of the same in­gre­di­ents as corn­bread: corn­meal, eggs and milk. But it has no leav­en­ing at all. In fact spoon­bread isn’t re­ally bread. It’s more of a sa­vory pud­ding. You might be tempted to call it a corn­meal souf­fle. But where I come from, you’d get a whole lot of nasty looks if you did. For starters there’s noth­ing fan­cy­pants about spoon­bread. It’s a hum­ble dish that gained pop­u­lar­ity in the south about 100 years ago when corn­meal be­gan to re­place yeast in some South­ern “breads”.

Like grits spoon­bread is a won­der­ful blank can­vas for fla­vor. To keep my spoon­bread ap­pro­pri­ate to the hol­i­day mine fea­tures sweet pota­toes. I may not make the same dish ev­ery year at Thanks­giv­ing, but at my house sweet pota­toes show up year after year in some form or an­other.

In­gre­di­ents

2 pound sweet pota­toes 1/4 cup yel­low corn meal 2 cup milk 2 ta­ble­spoon un­salted but­ter (plus more for loaf pan) 2 ta­ble­spoon brown sugar (op­tional) 1 tea­spoon cin­na­mon 1/4 tea­spoon cayenne pep­per 1/8 tea­spoon freshly ground nutmeg 1 tea­spoon kosher salt 1 cup wa­ter 1/2 cup flour 2 ta­ble­spoon honey 4 large eggs (lightly beaten) 1 cup cream

Prepa­ra­tions

Heat oven to 400 de­grees. Bake sweet pota­toes un­til soft when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 min­utes. When cool enough to han­dle, slice the sweet pota­toes in half and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl to cool com­pletely.

Mean­while, re­duce heat to 325 de­grees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat com­bine corn­meal, milk, but­ter, brown sugar (if us­ing), cin­na­mon, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and wa­ter. Cook, stir­ring, un­til slightly thick­ened, about 10 min­utes. Let cool.

But­ter a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan. Set aside. Work­ing in batches if nec­es­sary, place corn­meal mix­ture, sweet pota­toes, flour, honey, eggs, and cream in a food pro­ces­sor. Process un­til smooth; pour into the pre­pared pan. Bake un­til spoon­bread is set and be­gins to pull away from sides of pan, about 50 min­utes. Let cool slightly be­fore serv­ing.

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