not dessert: pumpkin cornmeal spoon bread

by Chen

There are pumpkins everywhere. I am just after the trend.

When it was still 90F two weeks ago, I wanted a clafouti but used up my nectarines in the galette. As the weather cools down, it is time to make something heart-warming.

Spoon bread is, obviously, a kind of bread you need to use a spoon to eat. It is somewhere between custard and bread–more like pudding–but has some earthiness due to the cornmeal. Once spooned out of the dish, there is no “structure” at all and the whole piece collapses like mashed potatoes. However unappealing it might be, it tastes eggy and super comforting.

Most recipes for spoon bread are on the sweet side. But the savory version is perfect as a side dish for this season or even by it own. By the way, as part of the fall fashion, I add nutmeg too. It really amplifies the pumpkin flavors. Enjoy!

pumpkin cornmeal spoon bread
Makes 4 servings

2 tsp EVOO
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
2 eggs, seperated

black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 8*8-inch baking dish and set aside.

Heat 2 tsp EVOO in a sauce pan over medium-low heat and add shallot and garlic. Stir and cook until softened but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Pour the milk into the pan. Once the milk comes to a simmer, whisk in the cornmeal, salt, and nutmeg. Stir constantly to avoid any lump. Keep stirring until the mixture thickened, 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool until warm to touch.

While the cornmeal mixture cools down, stir together the pumpkin puree and 2 yolks until smooth. In another bowl. whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Slowly add the cornmeal mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until well combined. Gently fold the whites into the pumpkin mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the black pepper on the top.

Bake in the preheated oven until the top turns golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Rotate half way through. Serve warm.