Fiesta Olive Cheesy Spoon Bread – a New Take on a Comfort Food
My family is going through a difficult time just about right now. So when one of my brothers opted to hold a small low key gathering for his birthday this weekend, I decided we needed some comfort food (and yes, it’s always my instinct to feed people in difficult times- as veteran New Orleans chef, Leah Chase says, “We believe that when we give you food, we are doing something special for you.”). So I was thinking cornbread, and since I have a stash of olives from my Camp Blogaway sponsors, Lindsay Olives, thinking that staple from a 60’s childhood, tamale pie. It’s not often I see tamale pie any more in trendy So Cal-and really, it’s not that I’m nostalgic for it, but the idea of olives and a comforting, homey corn dough, with a healthy amount of Cheddar/Jack cheese thrown in, kept drifting around the back of my brain. And so this Fiesta Spoon Bread-a sort of hybrid corn pudding/baked polenta (hey- puddings and polenta are comforting) was born. So grab your spoons.
Fiesta Olive Cheesy Spoon Bread
- 2 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 5 ounces Colby/Jack cheese
- 3/4 cup sauteed corn kernels
- 1 cup olives (I used Lindsay Black Olives and Green Naturals)
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
- 2-3 scallions, sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 5 eggs, at warm room temperature
- @ 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat milk in a large saucepan until it’s at a low boil. Whisk in the cornmeal, pouring it in at a steady slow stream. Continue whisking it until it is smooth has thickened.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the corn, cheese, olives, peppers, scallions, butter and salt. Cover with plastic wrap while beating eggs.
- Beat eggs until fluffy, and doubled in size.
- Fold the eggs into the corn mixture.
- Pour into a well buttered cast iron skillet, and place in 375 degree oven. Bake for 35- 40 minutes. The spoonbread will be slightly puffed, and a knife point or toothpick inserted in the center should come out dry.
Yield : 6-8 servings