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Cheesy Parmesan Spoon Bread

Mar 20 2013

by Nealey Dozier

Southern Recipe Posted by Nealey Dozier.

Easter in the South is always a wonderful time for food and reflection. After living away for five years, I now appreciate our unique spin on the holiday so much more. Everything from pulling out grandma’s silver, glazing the over-sized ham, and donning the children in seersucker and smocks; we truly know how to do it up right.

Every year my family adhered to the same Easter tradition—after “big church” and Sunday school, we headed to our local country club for a plastic egg hunt and lavish brunch buffet. And while I never found the golden egg, the Southern spread was more than enough prize for me (not too mention the bottomless Shirley Temples.) Each year it was the same: all-you-can-eat prime rib, fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, vinegery green beans, cheesy spoonbread, and French silk pie. Basically, it was utter perfection.

With my sisters now spread all over the country, gone are our days of those Sunday buffets. It’s up to me to start new traditions for my little family of two. I can tell you this much, it will start with this delicious Parmesan spoon bread. To me, it is a quintessential Easter dish. Paired with my buttermilk-brined, fried-in-lard chicken? Well who needs the country club now?

What about you? What are your Easter food traditions?

Parmesan Spoon Bread
Yields: 6-8

1 cup fine stone-ground yellow cornmeal*
1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free if possible)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a medium, round casserole dish.

In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a gentle boil over medium heat. Slowly stir in the cornmeal. Continue to whisk vigorously (to prevent the cornmeal from clumping) until the mixture has thickened, about 2 – 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese and salt. (If the mixture is very hot, allow to cool off for a few minutes.)

Whisk the beaten eggs and baking powder into the cornmeal mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until completely blended and smooth, 2-3 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until puffed and golden, about 35 minutes. Serve with lots of butter. (The spoon bread will collapse quickly as with most soufflés, but will still taste perfectly delicious.)

*If you can’t find finely-ground cornmeal, process regular cornmeal in a blender for a few minutes until desired texture is reached. The finer grain yields a smoother spoon bread.

(Recipe and photo originally published for Devour, The Cooking Channel blog.)

Enjoy this southern recipe in this collection of our southern cuisine – let’s gather the best southern food ideas for The Southern Coterie cookbook.

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