Corn Pudding? Spoon Bread?
I've never had either one, but something along these lines sounds like it might be an intriguing addition to the Thanksgiving menu. But what are they, exactly? I looked at some corn pudding recipes on Epicurious and they seem to be custardy, sweet and maybe a bit bland unless you start adding things like chives or cayenne or cheese. Spoon bread seems to always have cornmeal, sometimes corn kernels, and I'm guessing will come out with a bit of a rougher texture, maybe somewhere between corn pudding and corn bread? How close am I? Can I make either one ahead and either reheat or serve at room temp? Anyone have a recipe they love?
(Alack and alas, most of our guests are decidedly suspicious of food with taste, herbs or spices, so I probably won't be adding cayenne or jack cheese or other lovely sounding things. Maybe a sprinkle of nutmeg, but I won't tell them.)
Joy of Cooking says spoon bread is a corn bread that is soft enough to eat with a spoon. Some times steps are taken to ensure that top or center is extra creamy. If kept simple it can serve as the starch of a meal. All the savory or sweet additions that work with corn bread can work with a spoon bread (mild or hot green chiis, cheese, corn, bacon, etc). To go even further in the sweet direction, you could make an Indian Pudding, which is flavored with molasses and baked quite a bit longer.
for your TH dinner, i would suggest the corn pudding.
what it REALLY is is a FLAN with corn in it. it does not need cheese or green chiles(and i am a chef who is alwayes doing things like that- adding flavors.) my VA. mom always made corn pudding for Th. and its sweetness and creaminess were great textural and taste complements to the meal. my mom always put canned creamed corn in her corn pudding.
Spoon bread, or "Batterbread' as it is called in Va., is a soft cornmeal pudding usually made w/ cornmeal, milk, sauteed onions, butter, eggs. no sugar or spices. we always had it at my Va. grandparents' for BREAKFAST with scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, and 'fried apples'. (it was the bread component of the meal).
Spoon bread usually has a starch, such as cornmeal or wheat flour, usually cooked with a liquid, and other ingredients over a double boiler, then cooled and mixed with eggs then baked like a casserol, these dishes can be prepared to the last step , cooled and baked up to a day later, Puddings usually have no starch, fresh corn eggs milk and cream and are baked custard style in a bain-marie. You can also bake regular cornbread cool it and cut it into cubes poor custard over it and bake it like a traditional bread pudding.
If you will scroll down to 10/25 I posted 2 recipes for spoonbreads. One called Awendaw which is fabulous and uses cooked grits along with the cornmeal. I discovered that last year in Damon Lee Folwers New Baking book and then found I had it in several southern cookbooks. The other is my family's old favorite recipe.
Spoonbreads are custardy, more like a cornbread souffle. Serve hot and fresh from the oven with butter and gravy. Yum.