Within the last week, I’ve made spoon bread twice. I think I may be liking it more than cornbread these days because it’s so moist, flavorful, and (usually, depending on the recipe) better for you than cornbread. It’s good with soup, but (if you’re unfamiliar with spoon bread) you can’t dip it in the soup because, obviously, you have to eat it with a spoon.
When can you eat spoon bread? Well, anytime. It’s a good accompaniment to lunch or dinner OR you can eat it for breakfast. It’s versatile like bread and fruit.
The first recipe I tried, Spoon Bread with Fresh Sage from Vegetarian Time was absolutely delicious. I used frozen sage instead of fresh sage, and next time I’ll have to try it with dried (maybe 1 T. instead of 2) because I used all my frozen sage up. I’ll try to remember to post to let you know how that variation went. This is an incredibly easy and tasty recipe–if you have the ingredients, try it tonight! (Note: it calls for yellow cornmeal, but you can pretty much substitute white for yellow and yellow for white across the board. The main issue is that you use good-quality cornmeal.)
Last night I tried Virginia Batter Bread from an old cookbook of my Grandmama’s. I’ve looked elsewhere online and not seen a batter bread recipe as unique as this one because it calls for a panade (breadcrumbs soaked in milk). Usually, meatloaf or burgers have a panade in them, not batter breads. A panade usually makes the ground meat tender and juicy. Anyway, I made it with the panade but still can’t figure out why it called for it–the spoon bread still would have been good without it. I may experiment with some variations in the future, but for now, here is the recipe (adapted slightly from the original)
Virginia Batter Bread
1 C. corn meal
2 C. water
1 C. milk
3 eggs, separated, the whites stiffly beaten
1/2 C. day-old bread, broken into small pieces
1 scant t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 T. butter
Cook the corn meal in water in a pan until it boils. Stir occasionally with a wire whisk to prevent lumps. Add the butter and mix. Meanwhile, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. Add beaten egg yolks, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add to corn meal mixture. Fold in egg whites. Pour into a buttered (butter–not Pam or oil) casserole or baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min. or until golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.