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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spoon Bread with Leeks and Gruyere Cheese



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I rarely make fish and chips, but I had some catfish fillets that had to be used and thought a Southern-style fish fry would be a nice change of pace for our supper. Bob and I completed the river walk at a brisk pace this morning, so I felt less guilty about frying than might otherwise have been the case. I did rule out French fries, but only because I had two other Southern recipes that I wanted to try. We Northern gals rarely have spoon bread. As a matter of fact, I'll wager there are some Northern gals who have never had spoon bread. I'd only had it once before tonight's dinner. Although it's called a bread, it's really more like a cornmeal souffle or savory pudding than a bread. It has a moist, custard-like interior. That interior is probably what led to the practice of always serving the pudding with a spoon. I'm told Southerners wouldn't dream of using a knife and fork to move a serving from the casserole to a plate. The true history of spoon bread is not well documented, so I think some conjecture is fair. Corn was used because it was more readily available than flour. Leaveners, other than yeast, were not generally available until the middle part of the 19th century. Yeast breads take time to make. Cooks, early on, discovered that eggs could be used to quickly leaven certain dishes. Early versions of spoon bread used eggs as a leavener and that moved it into the category of a colonial quick bread. Quick breads, then and now, are popular. This recipe takes spoon bread to another level. It is flavored with leeks and cheese and it is altogether delicious. It's also very easy to make. If you like polenta, I think you'll love this. While Gruyere cheese adds a lovely nutty flavor to the dish, Swiss cheese can also be used. Here's the recipe.

Spoon Bread with Leeks and Gruyere Cheese
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, adapted from Savoring America

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks (white and tender green of 3 leeks)
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
2 scallions (white and tender green), chopped

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1-1/2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add leeks and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add milk, water,salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal and return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to stir until mixture thickens and pulls away from sides of pan. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
3) In bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until thick and pale lemon yellow in color, about 5 minutes. Stir 1/4 cup of cornmeal mixture into eggs. Then fold egg mixture into remaining cornmeal mixture, stirring constantly to prevent eggs from scrambling. Fold in cheese and scallions.
4) Scrape mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve at once directly from casserole. Yield: 6-8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread - One Perfect Bite
Three Savory Quick Breads the French Way - One Perfect Bite
(Almost) Irish Soda Bread - One Perfect Bite

68 comments:

Annesphamily said...

Yum! This looks delicious! Anne

Debbi Smith said...

It's like a mexican cornbread, it sounds delicious! Thanks!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Mary, This is what I call perfection. YOur description of this custardy, cornmeal melt in your mouth with bursting flavor dish makes me swoon. I added it to my favorites.
This is a must make!
Yvonne

Pondside said...

Count me among those who haven't ever tried spoon bread. As a matter of fact, though I've read about it in books - especially books about the southern USA - I had no idea of what it looked like. It sounds yummy, though, and I may try it with dinner some time soon - I'll let you know.

gnee said...

Thanks so much for seeking me out. Like you, I like new and fresh ideas. Will follow and visit you often.

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

Oh Mary, this sounds delicious! I love to read your posts. They are always so interesting.

Louis la Vache said...

Now STOP this! «Louis» has gained ten pounds just READING your blog today!

Angie's Recipes said...

I could eat the whole souffle-like bread! Can't resisit the cheesy stuff.

theUngourmet said...

I haven't had spoon bread yet. It looks fantastic. I love the flavor of Gruyere cheese. ;)

Jeannie said...

Never heard of spoon bread until now! It sure looks delicious!

My Little Space said...

The texture looks terrific! A little like cornbread but the ingredients sound wonderful. Have a nice day!
Regards, Kristy

Holly said...

This looks really good and I've always wanted to try leeks or use them in a recipe:)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Mary, I'm new to spoon bread, it look delicious.

Michael Toa said...

Mary, that looks divine. Have a wonderful Tuesday. Michael

Debinhawaii said...

Mmm...perfect for spring with the leeks, onions and gruyere. The whole dinner sounds delicious! ;-)

lostpastremembered said...

don't you just love spoonbread.. it is the most comforting food!

Bellini Valli said...

I live a little further north still so have not tried spoon bread or even grits for that matter. I had better remedy that quickly Mary.

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, spoonbread is one of my FAVORITE southern dishes. So good with fried chicken or fish too!
xoxo Pattie

Sushma Mallya said...

wow looks delicious, never heard abt this before but seems really nice..& have a nice day mary, take care

From the Kitchen said...

Thumbs up from this southern lady! And, you're right, we'd never cut a slice!! I haven't made spoon bread in years but have printed out this recipe. I've only had it plain but, with leeks and gruyere--oh my!

Best,
Bonnie

Martha said...

I've never had spoon bread -- we're from that part of the country that is part north and part south -- but our food seems to be mostly southern (think biscuits and gravy and chicken fried steak) -- but not everything came our way (the Yankees influence?) -- but you had me on polenta! I may have to rectify never have had spoon bread!

Barbara said...

You have taken this marvelous southern dish and improved it tenfold, Mary!
Do you know a lot of people have no idea what this is? I served it once years ago and nobody had a clue!
My recipe is a simple spoonbread souffle and I had it originally at a meal in the 50's, the host was the cook. We were all so impressed he knew how to make this.

I love the idea of gruyere (my favorite) and leeks mixed into the dish. Saving this recipe to use the next time I make it!

Hootin' Anni said...

I read this in my google reader and you mentioned cat fish. That sounds delicious ....I'm gonna have to make me some -- my favorite way, grilled cajun style. Spicy. LOL

Hope your day will treat you well this fine Tuesday.

Julie said...

This looks wonderful! I've never made Spoon Bread. Leeks are one of my favorites, often under used veggies. Adding this one to make list of recipes to try.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

oh wow - this looks positively fabulous. Must try this.

Cathy said...

I'm one of those northern girls who has never tried this bread. It does look tasty.

Rachana Kothari said...

Never heard of spoon bread until now...it looks delicious.

®osadimaggio63 said...

Hi Mary,
questo Spon Bread deve essere veramente delizioso... il formaggio a me piace cucinato in tutti i modi :-)

Home's Where My Heart Is said...

I wanted to visit you and thank you for visiting my blog recently. You have a wonderful collection of recipes. I am especially interested in your Lemon Poppy Seed bread recipe. I love tea breads and agree that they aren't as commonly made, but I think they should be. I look forward to looking around your blog more, you have some lovely recipes.
Blessings,
Erin
http://homeswheremyheartis.blogspot.com

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I have never heard of spoon bread let alone tried it!! Another one on my to try list :-) Diane

black eyed susans kitchen said...

That looks fantastic..yum! Love the savory dishes.

Chef E said...

I keep thinking, or saying I am going to make spoon bread. My family did not make it, they liked the dry and crumbly corn bread, but this would rock my world for sure...

You are always so creative Mary!

Chef E said...

I keep thinking, or saying I am going to make spoon bread. My family did not make it, they liked the dry and crumbly corn bread, but this would rock my world for sure...

You are always so creative Mary!

Penny said...

Mary, I love this version of spoon bread. My recipe for spoon bread muffins uses buttermilk, but I like this with milk and sour cream. The leeks and cheese are a great addition. I will definitely be making this. Even though I am a northern gal too, I have developed a love for spoon bread.

Joe Ambrosino said...

Hi Mary,

I've made spoon bread a couple of times back when I was getting paid to cook. I used a recipe I found in a magazine called Cuisine At Home which called for adding cooked carrots and squash to the batter and heavy cream and egg yolks. You then folded in the whites before baking it.I put cheddar cheese and bacon in it! It was great--I served it with pork chops.

The Empress said...

oh! Absolutely mouthwatering. Reminds me of some bread my SOuth American grandmother would make us.

One spoonful, though perfect, was never enough. (-:

elra said...

You had me on the gruyere over there mary! Looks absolutely mouth watering.

Nancy said...

Oh, I must try this Mary.
Thank-you so much for visiting my site and for your kind words...they are very much appreciated. I will be back to visit...hope you will too!!

Have a wonderful day!

jsprik said...

my only concern with this recipe is TEXTURE...i do not eat such things as tapioca, bread pudding and thigs of the sort because of texture...is this mushy or soggy at all?? it sounds divine, but not sure about it...

jsprik said...

btw, thank you for stopping by my blog, and for your kind words, see you soon!! :)

Bit of Butter said...

Mary - thanks for visiting my blog! Yours looks absolutely fabulous! I will definitely be visiting again!

The Red Umbrella said...

This looks very tasty!

Ann said...

Wow... terrific! looks so delicious.

kate said...

mary....your blog is wonderful!!!! thanks for visiting me over at southern belle simple....i can't wait to make your pepper jelly! my pepper plants are doing well and hopefully i'll have enough to make a good amount! i'm your newest follower! xoxox -kate

Ria Mathew said...

That looks delish!

Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and leaving behind such a precious comment! xo

Sue said...

Hi Mary....thank you for stopping by my blog..I have been to yours many times and have enjoyed the wonderful recipes you post...I very often do food posts so please stop back....I like to mix it up a bit and write about a little of everything....Sue @ RueMouffetard

The Blonde Duck said...

It's been so long since I've been to a good fish fry....

Shelia said...

Hi Mary! Oh, this looks so good. Yes, please come and bring one of your fantastic cakes! I'd love to have you! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Joanne said...

I've never had spoon bread but it sounds and looks delicious. Especially with the leeks and gruyere! A match made in flavor heaven.

Andreas said...

I didn't know about spoon bread; seems like an interesting concept.
And leeks, gruyere and sour cream surely taste good.

Carla and Michael said...

Mary, I am from the south and do not ever remembermy family making spoon bread. This I will have to try. Sounds delicious with leeks and cheese. Thanks.

Pam said...

I've never had spoon bread! I'm going to have to remedy that!

Valérie said...

You really have a gift for introducing me to recipes I've never heard of! I really like the sound of this "bread"!

pigpigscorner said...

Spoon bread? What a cute name, I've never heard of it or tried it. But I like the sound ofi t!

Pam said...

Mary, your spoon bread looks delicious! I haven't made it for a good while and will have to try your recipe. It sounds great because of the leeks and especially the Gruyere cheese. I would've never thought of that combo for spoon bread. Pure comfort food in my book! Great recipe! Hope you're having a wonderful day! Pam

Taylor said...

I have been obsessed with leeks lately! The fact that you described it as "custard-like" makes me want some right now!

Bridgett said...

I don't think I have ever tried spoon bread, but it sure looks and sounds delicious, especially with the Gruyere.

JG said...

I've never tasted Spoon Bread. :) It looks so yummy!

Rambling Tart said...

I've never had spoonbread, Mary, but it sounds AMAZING!! :-) I love Gruyere so very much. :-)

Hungry Dog said...

This looks absolutely heavenly to me! I'm keeping this recipe for sure!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I'm guilty of never having had spoon bread! It looks absolutely delicious. It sounds perfect with leeks and gruyere.

comfycook said...

This is a beautiful dish, seems to be a comfort food. I think I made it once but did something wrong. With your recipe, I have more confidence in making it correctly.

Julie said...

This looks divine! My husband is trying to grow some leeks. If he gets any, I might try to make this :)

Wendy said...

Well.... I am definitely trying this. I make a cheesy polenta (cornmeal) pie that is along the same lines... I am going to try your version!

Ana Powell said...

It sounds and looks divine.
A great winner x

Jamie said...

Fabulous! You know, I've been so wanting to finally make spoon bread and now I am glad I waited! The leeks and the cheese bring it up to another level entirely! It looks perfect! And I would so love some fried catfish to go with it!

Lisa said...

Southern and Swiss. I've got to love it!

Claudia said...

Cannot pass up a recipe with Gruyere. This looks beyond scrumptious.

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