Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 3 shallots, minced
- 1 LB button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 CUPS whole milk
- 1 CUP cornmeal
- 2 OZ Cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter a 1 1/2-qt/1.4-L baking or soufflé dish.
In a sauté pan, melt 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edges. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, reduce the heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tbsp butter and the Cheddar cheese. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form—the tips of the peaks curl down slightly when the beaters are lifted. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the spoon bread is puffed and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Serve immediately.
Known for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the executive chef/owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen. She is also the author of the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking; was the host and soul food expert on the television series Melting Pot; and competed on the 15th season of Top Chef. Holland holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine. www.brownsugarkitchen.com