In Florida, there's still plenty of heat and humidity in the weather report but even so, when September rolls around I want to start experimenting with fall-centric recipes.
So that's why I was drawn to Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread, from the charming new cookbook Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland (Chronicle Books, 2014).
It's a cross between traditional spoon bread and souffle. What makes it like souffle is that the eggs are separated and whites are whipped to medium stiffness and then folded into the cornmeal mixture.
I could see this recipe on the Thanksgiving table or as a vegetarian entree, too.
For the #CookClub, there will be plenty of room for interpretation. I think corn kernels would be a nice addition, but resist a can of cream corn, which will add too much moisture and make the final product soupy. There is already a fair amount from the sauteed mushrooms.
The recipe calls for the mushrooms to be sauteed until all their liquid has been released and then evaporated. After 15 minutes, there was still a little liquid so I simply drained it.
The recipe doesn't specify white or yellow corn meal, but I used yellow.
Eager to hear (and see!) what you think of this recipe. I loved it.
Join us online!
To participate in #CookClub online, the key is to remember #CookClub because that's how you'll tag everything. You'll have two weekends to make the recipe and post a photo on Instagram.
Post photos and comments about the Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread by 6 p.m. Sept. 14. Some of the photos and comments will be printed Sept. 17 in the Taste section of the Tampa Bay Times.
And don't forget to join us from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursdays for a live #CookClub chat on Twitter.
Contact Janet K. Keeler at email@example.com. Follow @RoadEats.
Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
3 shallots, minced
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced (see note)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups whole milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
4 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart baking or souffle dish.
In a saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edges. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, reduce the heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and Cheddar cheese. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. (You may need to transfer the cornmeal mixture into a large bowl to do this.) When they are incorporated, gently stir in mushrooms until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the spoon bread is puffed and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Serve immediately.
Note: When the Tampa Bay Times tested this recipe, a mixture of Baby Bellas, also called cremini, and button mushrooms were used. Any mixture of mushrooms totalling 1 pound may be used.
Source: Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland (Chronicle Books, 2014)