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Spoon Bread with Ham and Cheese

I grew up with a big love of cornbread. We had cornbread any time of day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I can remember waking up in the morning and eating some cornbread and milk. When we’d go eat at my grandparents house cornbread was part of our meal. As I grew up I liked to experiment with different kinds of “cornbread”. There are endless possibilities. One of the things I recently explored was spoon bread. It almost has a grits like texture. I really enjoyed this recipe. It really took me back home.

4 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup diced cooked ham

1/2 cup thin sliced scallions

salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs, separated

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 2 Qt baking dish with butter. Heat milk, mustard, and cayenne in a large saucepan over medium heat to simmer. Stir frequently. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Stir constantly until thickened. Takes 4 to 5 minutes. Off heat whisk in butter until melted. Stir in ham and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.  Cool mixture for 5 minutes. Then whisk in egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups cheddar. Whip egg whites in a bowl with a hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cornmeal. Transfer mixture into a prepared dish. Bake until golden on top and the center is set. Top with remaining cheese and scallion greens and serve.

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