If Yorkshire pudding, cornbread, and soufflé could all get together and have a lovechild, that child's name would be spoonbread. Usually served as a side, this cornmeal-based pudding gets upgraded to a fantastic brunch dish with the addition of cheese and sausage, and one jalapeno for just a bit of spice.
You can take the base of this spoonbread and adjust it to your tastes. Try diced ham and Swiss cheese instead of sausage and cheddar. Or even broccoli and Parmesan if you're feeding a vegetarian or two. Any leftovers you may have can be happily reheated and served with a quick green salad for a light lunch the next day.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, crumbled (casings removed if necessary)
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400[°]. Butter a soufflé or gratin dish.
In a large stainless steel skillet over medium high heat, cook the sausage, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the fat begins to render, add the jalapeño. Continue to cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until sausage is browned, about 6 minutes total. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Place butter and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, slowly whisk in corn meal and cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Pour cornmeal mixture over sausage and stir until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Once cornmeal mixture has cooled fold eggs and cheese into cornmeal, then pour into prepared dish. Bake until spoonbread is set, 25 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.