a blanket of richness: ham and cheese spoonbread

This past week, I spent a lot of time opening and closing cupboards in the hopes that something would grab my attention. I was trying to eek out a couple of meals out of my barren cupboards and I wanted something to take the chill out of this winter weather. My cards were selling like hotcakes because of a certain February holiday and a recent mention on the blog, Mighty Goods, plus my own busy work schedule didn’t leave a whole lot of time for grocery shopping. I ended up eating a lot out of cupboards, including making polenta more than once since I seemed to have a huge stockpile of cornmeal hidden away in vintage glass jars.

A few years ago, I made this polenta casserole, which was delicious, but sometimes my polenta experiments are a bit bland and less than ideal. But this time ’round, I struck gold and discovered my new favorite cornmeal-based recipe: spoonbread. Spoonbread is very much like polenta only way, way better. It’s light and fluffy because of the added egg and it could easily resemble a fancy souffle but without any of the fuss. This recipe is stuffed to the gullet with cheese (which is never a bad thing in my books) and I like to think of it as a soft and savoury corn pudding…comfort through and through. The added spices add a nice bite too.

This meal could easily be eaten for breakfast or brunch but we ate it for lunch (and again at dinner) with some sauteed rapini. The richness of this dish kind of calls out for something sharp and bitter but it’s also really yummy on it’s own, kinda like watching a few episodes of Friday Night Lights (I’m halfway through season 1) wrapped in an afghan. A guilty pleasure, maybe, but totally comforting and oh so worth it.

18 comments to “a blanket of richness: ham and cheese spoonbread”

  1. 1
    Bijoux   February 9, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    It’s nearing close to dinner time and I have no idea what to make. I’ve been snacking on a Ritter sports bar and some not-so-great, pre-made poppadums in a cardboard tube. As soon as I saw this spoonbread I said to myself: “I gotta have some of that”! No such luck, I’m clean out of cornmeal…I shall return to this recipe when i stock up on some of the ingredients.

  2. 2
    Eliz   February 9, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    This looks great. I’m new to reading your blog, as of last week and really enjoy browsing through your recipes and images. Yea for good food!

  3. 3
    Scott   February 10, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Wow, that would be great on a cold, gray, lazy Sunday! I’m adding it to my list…

  4. 4
    Cooper   February 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    How could that be bad?…and so easy! Another one to add to the list…thanx

  5. 5
    kickpleat   February 10, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    bijoux, you can’t appologize for eating a rittersport! yum.

    thanks eliz, glad you like 🙂

    scott, it’s perfect for gray lazy saturdays!

    glad to be of service, cooper!

  6. 6
    Us vs. Food   February 11, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Again with smoked paprika! Truly, the most delicious and versatile of spices.

    Something is wrong with the heat in my office and it’s about 55 degrees where I’m sitting. I could really use a big ol’ scoop of that yummy looking spoonbread. Sounds like a great recipe for when you have the 4 little chunks of random cheese leftovers in the fridge.

    I’m kicking myself for not making some steel-cut oats to bring to work today.

  7. 7
    Cakespy   February 11, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Gosh that looks cozy. Our heat is out at work today, I could use some of this goodness!

  8. 8
    Katie   February 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I made the polenta this weekend and it was delicious. Instead of ham I put lots of green onion and cilantro. Creamy and tasty.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  9. 9
    kickpleat   February 12, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    us vs food, i couldn’t agree more on the smoked paprika front! yum!!

    cakespy, a bite of this and you’ll warm your toes up instantly!!

    katie, i figured using mushrooms would be another interesting variation, but cilantro and green onions? i congratulate you!! sounds amazing.

  10. 10
    Linda   February 15, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Looks like a super item for a chilly winter brunch! Thanks!

  11. 11
    katastrophik   February 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    In an attempt to fix a typo I deleted my comment…

    “I made this and it was excellent! And everyone I it to loved it!”

  12. 12
    kickpleat   February 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Linda, it totally would be great for a winter brunch!

    Katastrophik, glad you enjoyed this meal!

  13. 13
    Anonymous   February 25, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I made this a week ago for dinner and it was absolutely delicious. Hubs was a bit hesitant but he cobbled it up with a huge grin. Total comfort food! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  14. 14
    kickpleat   February 25, 2008 at 10:43 am

    anon, glad you and your reluctant husband loved it!

  15. 15
    Jenine   January 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Wow! Made this tonight and it was creamy, awesome, polenta perfection. It just happens to be a rainy night so this dish was especially appropriate. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. 16
    Anonymous   February 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I’m new to your blog and was wondering how many servings does this make as a side or as a main dish? It sounds delicious.


  17. 17
    kickpleat   February 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Susana, I made this as a main dish, but it could easily be a side. I think it made 4 servings or in our case, served 2 very hungry adults.

  18. 18
    Molly   March 27, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    WOW – this looks absolutely delicious!

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