Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Spoonbread

Recipe developed by Chef Vivian Howard in partnership with NCSPC

I’d call this airy spoonbread a savory sweet potato souffle, and I’d substitute it anywhere I’d typically choose mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. It’s also a perfect for breakfast alongside eggs, sausage or bacon.

Ingredients

Photo Cred: Juli Leonard

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cups corn meal
  • 4 tablespoons room temperature butter cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the dish
  • 3 large eggs separated, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Roast your sweet potato on a baking sheet in its skin for about 1 hour. When it’s done, it will pierce easily with a knife and should smell like Thanksgiving. Peel the sweet potato. Discard the skin and puree the flesh in a food processor. You’ll end up with roughly 1 1/2 cups puree.
  1. Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish with straight sides. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, salt, and cayenne in a 2 quart saucepan until bubbles form around the edges. Whisk in the cornmeal and cook for about 2 minutes or until the starch grabs hold of the milk and thickens up tremendously. It will be pasty and a thin film will coat the bottom of the pan. Stir the whole time and do not walk away while it’s cooking. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream until the yolks are fully incorporated and the cream is a pretty, pale yellow. Then, in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks.
  1. Once the cornmeal mixture has cooled for at least five minutes, whisk 1/3 of it into the egg yolks and cream. Follow up with the remaining thickened cornmeal, making sure you achieve a homogenous, pourable batter. Using a spatula, stir in the grated cheese and the sweet potato puree.  Finally, fold in half of the whipped egg whites. Continue with the last half.  Pour the spoonbread batter into the greased baking dish and slide into the middle rack of the oven.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. The spoonbread will have risen beyond the rim of the dish and should be golden brown on top.
  1. For maximum wow factor, serve right away while it’s puffed up and proud. Although once the spoonbread has lost its poof, it’s still delicious. Even room temperature is delicious.

Number of servings (yield): 4