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Custard-Topped Spoon Bread

I found myself in the midst of another side dish crisis last night.  I had one of my in-danger-of-imminent-freezer-burn roasts in the crock pot since our current financial situation is backing up Beloved’s demand suggestion that I cook from the freezer, refrigerator and pantry (thank you, Uncle Sam, for your yearly fleecing), and I had to decide what I could make to go with said roast.  Potatoes?  No, we’re having those tonight with the rest of the roast.  Pasta?  No, we’ve had that the previous two nights, in the form of mac ‘n’ cheese and spaghetti.  Rice?  No, we’re having that Friday night (either teriyaki chicken or a stir fry).  There are grits and couscous in my pantry, but neither seemed to scream “Make me with your roast!”

So I threw together this spoon bread.  It was pretty good, warm and comforting and filling, but in retrospect there were things I could have done to make it more…exciting, I guess.  I’ll make it again, but will probably throw in some sauteéd onions and garlic, maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes and a bit more salt.  I might also leave off the “custard topping”, which was pretty decadent but didn’t really lend a lot to the overall quality of the dish (and added a ton of calories).

At any rate, here it is as written.  And as written, it might also make a pretty decent brunch dish.  (I also apologize for the cruddy picture – I was in a hurry when I took it.)

Custard-Topped Spoon Bread

serves 8

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 rounded tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups milk

1 1/2 tablespoons plain white vinegar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 can corn, well-drained

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350º F.  Generously butter an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.  Add the eggs, milk and vinegar and stir until well-moistened, but still a bit lumpy.  Stir in the melted butter, then fold in the corn and cheese.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish, the pour the heavy cream slowly and carefully over the batter without stirring.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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