Cheddar Cheese Spoon Bread

Serves 6 to 8 as side dish; 4 to 6 as entree.

Note: You might call this a shortcut polenta. The cornmeal is quickly blanched in hot water, before other ingredients are added. Then it’s baked in the oven, where it puffs up like a soufflé, so rush it to the table as soon as it’s pulled from the oven. Cut and serve it at the table. Leftovers, if you have them, are great reheated in the microwave or sliced and sizzled in a little butter in a skillet. Sunrise Flour Mill coarse ground cornmeal is available at the Mill City Farmers Market and may be ordered online at sunriseflourmill.com. Other good-quality choices include Whole Grain Milling Co., available in food co-ops, and Bob’s Red Mill, which is available in most grocery stores and co-ops. From Beth Dooley.

• Butter for greasing the casserole dish

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 c. cornmeal (see Note)

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

• 3 tbsp. butter

• 1 c. whole milk

• 4 eggs, well beaten

• 1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese

• 1/4 c. chopped green onions

Directions

Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large saucepan set over high heat, bring 1 1/4 cups water and the salt to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and slowly add the cornmeal, stirring with a whisk to keep lumps from forming. Continue stirring until the cornmeal is very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pepper, 3 tablespoons butter and the milk, until the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Stir in the cheese and the chopped green onions. Place the mixture into the buttered casserole and bake until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes up clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 240 Fat 16 g Sodium 520 mg

Carbohydrates 15 g Saturated fat 8 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 10 g Cholesterol 130 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 medium-fat protein, 2 fat.