Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Food Desert Project - Kentucky Spoonbread


A few years back, we realized that while we discuss my heritage with Sparky often - he is named for my half-Scottish Grandmother, and he knows his Argentine Abueltia quite well - we rarely discuss his father's Louisville, KY roots. Of course, Louisville has an incredible culinary heritage, so our family began celebrating Derby Day with friends, silly hats, and a spread of all the traditional foods it brings: Benedictine sandwiches, Asparagus vinaigrette, country ham with biscuits, Bibb lettuce salad, Derby Pie and other delectable springtime treats.

While we had a good selection of recipes (I inherited my husband's grandmother's Louisville Courier-Journal Cookbooks, a real treasure) I decided to ask friends for their family favorites.  I scored with following recipe, which I've taken the liberty to lighten up a bit (the original recipe calls for whole milk, cream, and a stick of butter.) This particular friend also happens to be a chef; she told me that she and her grandmother would forage for ramps, and then sauté them with bacon and serve them with this spoonbread- I was tickled to find such a chef-y recipe with such strong family roots.

Grams Ida Cooke's Kentucky Spoonbread - Lite

3 cups whole milk
 2 tbs butter
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
 2 eggs beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine salt
 1/3 cup additional milk

004Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat until bubbles just appear around the edges. Dump in all he cornmeal and whisk vigorously until it thickens. Remove from the heat.

Melt the butter in a small casserole dish or pie pan (1 quart capacity,) and thoroughly grease the inside. Pour the remainder into a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Add the eggs, salt and baking powder and whisk thoroughly - don't worry if the butter solidifies and the mixture is lumpy.

Add the additional milk to the cooked cornmeal and break it up with your whisk, then add the egg mixture and whisk until relatively smooth. 

Pour into your prepared casserole and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, until the top has puffed up and browned.  Serves 8-10. Nutrition Information.

I usually plan my blog posts around dinner...but, today I had a meeting with the District's Wellness Council, and a bunch of other things on my plate, and by the time Sparky and I got home I only had time to heat up some pulled pork sandwiches I'd stashed in the freezer.  So I made this delectable spoonbread, and stuck it in the fridge.  Even lightened-up it's delightfully rich and naturally sweet...and I realized it will be perfect for breakfast.  I'll let you know how well it reheats.*


* It did, indeed, reheat nicely (went from the fridge to a 250 degree oven for about half an hour, or until we were ready for it.)  It was a bit denser and less fluffy, but still delicious...especially with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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