This gluten-free cornmeal soufflé is without a doubt the most satisfying creation I’ve feasted upon since giving up all wheat products. I baked one off as a test run for a farm-to-table event, and the whole ‘loaf’ was devoured within seconds – it’s that good. And it’s easy to make too. You can whip this up in ten minutes or less!
One of the most frustrating parts of being wheat-free is the amount of terrible things I end up digesting in my quest to satisfy that bread craving. The gluten-free all-purpose flours on the market are expensive and mostly composed of cornstarch which is not healthy and they don’t make me feel any better than the wheat counterpart and I’m sorry but they never taste anything like wheat flour baked goods.
However, for this recipe I used organic stone ground cornmeal (milled onsite) from Pie Ranch and the flavor and texture was awesome and I didn’t feel like napping directly afterwards which is normally how I get after eating complex carbs. The high amount of eggs (protein) in this spoonbread balances out any crazy glycemic index spikes for me.
I have some words of advice on preparation especially if you are serving this for a party: it will fall quickly just like a soufflé and there’s no Mornay sauce in this recipe to truly give it a base (like there would be in a traditional French soufflé). But, it wouldn’t be a spoonbread anyway if it didn’t collapse. I’ve added a little cream of tartar and baking powder to help with the rise of the heavy stone ground cornmeal but it will only extend the post-oven puff a little bit longer than normal and both can be left out if desired. Make sure dinner is ready to go or even plated so you can rush this to the table when guests are seated. And make extra. Your guests will have seconds and thirds – it’s just so darned light! I’ve octupled this recipe before so feel free to expand it as necessary.
I think spoonbread is great with just about anything, but being a Southern dish it seems to go best with regional fare (beans & greens, pulled pork, etc.). You could serve this with steak too as a substitute for Yorkshire pudding. And I certainly wouldn’t turn it down for breakfast with some nice glazed ham on the side and a drizzle of maple syrup. Heck Easter’s just around the corner – why not include spoonbread in your Easter feast? Whether you’ve got crown pork roast, ham, or lamb on the menu this will be a great light side dish or as part of an elegant brunch!
One more note: the middle will be pudding-like. That’s the way it’s supposed to be so don’t fuss over that. Leftovers can be reheated and drizzled with syrup and butter in the morning….but again, unless you make extra there won’t be any…don’t say I didn’t warn ya….
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup stone ground organic cornmeal
- 2 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 big three-finger pinch of sugar (up to 2 teaspoons if you like it sweeter)
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter