Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ham and Cheese Spoon Bread

Reminder to self: a 16-pound ham is more than 10 people can eat for a single dinner. So, leftovers. Lots of leftovers.

A spoon bread is kind of like a souffle, with cornmeal to add a bit more substance. This version has ham, cheese, onions, and a touch of bacon for tastiness

  • 2 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (I used Penzey's Ancho Chili Pepper)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (NOT cornbread mix!)
  • 4 eggs, yolks and egg whites separated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil* (You may not need this)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 ounces chopped leftover ham
  • 2 slices cooked bacon* (Or uncooked, see note)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 2 1/2 quart round casserole (a deep one) with cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.
  3. In a 3 quart sauce pan, whisk the milk, sugar, thyme, and red pepper. Heat over medium-high until it begins to simmer.
  4. Whisk in the cornmeal and continue to cook about 1-3 minutes, whisking, until it thickens. Scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside off the heat.
  5. Stir the egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture.
  6. Saute onions, ham, and bacon (Note that I did option 1 because I had leftover cooked bacon. I think option 2 would add another yummy layer of un-light-but-tasty bacon flavor to the dish)
    1. Option 1: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add the onions and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped ham and pre-cooked bacon and continue to heat until warm. Note I'm using leftover ham that was previously roasted to a nice brown. Cook longer if your ham needs browning.
    2. Option 2: In a large skillet, fry the un-cooked bacon over medium-high heat until brown and crispy. DO NOT pour off the bacon grease. Add the onions to the bacon and saute about 5 minutes until brown. Add the ham and heat thoroughly.
  7. Stir the ham and onion mixture into the cornmeal mixture.
  8. Fold the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture.
  9. Pour into the prepared casserole. Bake about 50 minutes until it is set in the center.

No comments: