Almost half of August has already gone by and I'm getting a little anxious that I won't be able to share all the amazing summer-specific recipes I have with you before the best of the fruits and veggies of the summer are gone. But today, I'm feeling calm since this Fresh Corn Spoon Bread focuses on one of the best of summer's offerings: fresh corn!!
Sometimes you can use frozen vegetables in a recipe and the end result doesn't suffer, but not here, guys! For this spoon bread, that fresh corn flavor is ultimate, so use the best local sweet corn that you can find!
For such an impressive-looking side dish, this comes together fairly easily, in a just a few steps and goes well with just about anything you serve. You start by boiling together milk, cornmeal, the fresh corn kernels, butter and salt until the mixture thickens, eventually stirring egg yolks into it, giving it a nice warm richness.
Next you fold beaten egg whites into the whole thing to lighten it up--
Then all you do is pour it into a souffle dish or casserole and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the top is crusty and golden brown and the interior is soft and fluffy--the ultimate in comfort food!!
Each bite is a wonderful mixture of sweet corn, mellow custard and crunchy crust, the perfect mix of creamy and crunchy! So no procrastinating here guys-- your time to make this is swiftly running out. Seize the day!!
Fresh Corn Spoon Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (I used 3 large ears of corn and didn't really measure)
- 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, separated
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Butter a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish or 9 1/2 inch deep glass pie dish. Set aside
2. In a large saucepan, mix together the milk, cornmeal, fresh corn and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir it frequently. Once it boils, lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it's thickened a bit. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then to cool it a bit more quickly. Then whisk in the egg yolks and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer (with the whisk attachment if you've got a stand mixer), beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed just until soft peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the whites into the corn mixture to lighten it and then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, until there's no visible trace of the whites. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve this right away--it's essentially a souffle and collapses soon after you remove it from the oven, but no matter what it tastes great!
Note: Recipe adapted from a 2002 issue of Gourmet Magazine.