Sunday, August 13, 2017

Kitchen Therapy, Redux

I am once again turning to the kitchen to deal with (or not deal with) the depressing events of the weekend in Charlottesville. I had a meal recently—the dinner itself was terrible, but the corn pudding on my plate was spectacular. So I'm revisiting the scene of the crime in hopes of putting it to rest.

Chili Cheddar Spoon Bread
Serves 6

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
1 c cream plus 1 c skim milk, or 2 c whole milk
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, cut from 2 cobs
3 TB chopped pickled (canned) jalapenos
1 TB fresh thyme leaves
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
kosher salt 
3 large scallions, chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
4 large eggs, separated

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 TB butter, cream/milk, corn kernels, jalapenos, thyme, cornmeal, and 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickened.

3. Take off heat. Add scallions and cheese. When its cooled for a bit (about 15 minutes), stir in 4 egg yolks.

4. While the mixture is cooling, beat the 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the corn mixture, using a spatula and big circular strokes until just combined. Add the rest of the egg whites and combine, using a light hand, so you don't deflate the egg whites. The batter should be fairly light and airy; don't worry if it's not 100% combined.

5. Pour into baking dish. Put in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until browned on top. Let it rest 5-10 minutes outside the oven before serving.