Cheddar Corn Spoon Bread: A No-Fail American Souffle from Cleo Coyle

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This no-fail "American soufflé" is incredibly easy to cook and makes an impressive comfort-food side dish for fall and winter dinners, especially roast chicken or turkey.
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My husband (and partner in culinary crime writing) finds it hard to stop eating this one, and so do I.

May you, too, eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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Cleo Coyle has a partner in
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☕  A Note from Cleo...

Our readers may remember this recipe from our 15th Coffeehouse Mystery Dead to the Last Drop. Because we set the story in our nation's capital, we featured dishes with American roots, and spoon bread is certainly one of them!

The origins spoon bread can be traced back to a Native American cornmeal porridge called suppawn. English colonists added eggs and milk to enrich the dish. 

Set in Washington, DC,
Dead to the Last Drop 
celebrates recipes with
American roots. To learn
more, click here.

We liked the idea of adding cheddar to jazz up the flavor--and if you've read Dead to the Last Drop, then you know that reference is an apt one.

This recipe is perfect for a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. In a pinch, you can use an 8-inch square pan. Whatever you use, be sure it is well greased with butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking. 

For a larger batch, double the amount of ingredients and use a 2-1/2 quart casserole dish or a 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cooking time may be a bit longer for a larger casserole, check for doneness as indicated in the recipe, and eat with joy! 

~ Cleo

🌽 🌽 🌽

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Cleo Coyle's
Cheddar Corn Spoonbread
(A No-Fail American Souffle)


2 cups sweet corn kernels (I use frozen, no need to thaw)
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon white, granulated sugar
1 teaspoon regular table salt or finely ground sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (white will look better, but you
      may substitute ground black pepper)
Pinch of cayenne pepper 
1-1/2 cups milk whole or low fat (1% or 2%, not skim)
½ cup water
¾ cup cornmeal (yellow or white)
2 eggs
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, yellow or white (*See my end note on reheating)
2 teaspoons baking powder

(Optional flavor additions: ¼ cup crumbled bacon; ¼ cup chopped roasted red and/or green peppers; ¼ cup finely chopped, lightly grilled sweet onions**)

Directions: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Into a medium size saucepan, place the corn kernels (still frozen is fine) and butter, warm over medium heat, stirring while butter melts. Add the sugar, salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper and stir to blend the flavors. Add the milk, water, and 3/4 cup of cornmeal. Cook and stir this mixture over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture thickens and resembles porridge. 

IMPORTANT: Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool off for at least ten minutes before whisking in the eggs, cheese, and baking powder. Transfer immediately to a well-greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes (depending on oven). When spoonbread is set on top (no longer liquid and jiggling) and slightly browned, it’s finished cooking. As the name implies, spoon the bread pudding onto plates right from the baking dish and…eat with joy!

*NOTE: When I reheat this casserole, I sprinkle extra shredded cheddar cheese over the top. It's delicious!

**If you’d like to add more vegetable flavors, such as chopped sweet onions and/or peppers, begin by sautéing them in the saucepan. Once they’ve cooked up, use the same pan to begin building the recipe, adding the corn, butter, milk, and so on.

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Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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