Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Corn Spoonbread and a New Camera

Smitten Kitchen posted this spoonbread a few days ago and it looked amazing. She'd baked it in lovely little white souffle dish and it looked all fluffy golden and crack-y like a good souffle should. Her mouthwatering description had me dying to make this. It's a cross between cornbread and Chevy's sweet corn tamalito. I don't have a small souffle dish but she also suggested using an 8 x 8 inch pan. Done and done.
I've made this twice now. The first one was a hot mess... it tasted great. It just looked like any old cornbread...well, a slightly heavy cornbread. It would have been perfect under a ton of chili. The recipe is from Cooks Country, which I love. Having never made any kind of souffle before, I kinda knew early on where I went wrong. First, I didn't realize I didn't have any cream of tartar, which is whipped into the egg whites for fluff. Then I was a little sloppy when I separated the eggs. There was a little yolk in the whites and I do know that yolk is the enemy of fluff. The two margaritas I had on the way home may have contributed to it's ultimate uuuuh demise.
Anyhoo...realizing that the mess was of my own making and having nothing better to do on my day off, a very chilly day off, I tried this again this morning. It definitely turned out better. Tasty and very spoonable. It just took waaay too long, though SK does mention this obstacle as well as the number of bowls and stuff this recipe seems to call for. The batter has to be boiled and cooled down to room temp twice... well the first cooling is to get the cooked corn and milk down for the puree, recipe says about 15 minutes. The pureed corn/milk/seasoning has to be brought back to the boil with the cornmeal mix. The second cooling is just before you add the egg yolks so you don't cook 'em. It says about 20 minutes. Even after transferring the batter to two different cooled bowls and stirring frequently to release some steam, there was still more steam coming from this batter after 20 minutes. I let it rest for close to 30. After whipping  in the yolks you fold in the peaky egg white/cream of tartar mixture. Could I have over folded?.
I'm still not sure if I got this right. I baked it for 40 mins. though the recipe said 45 mins. I took it out 'cuz the top was looking more brown than golden. It's to be served immediately, which I did. The texture seemed a little underdone but kinda consistent with the Chevy's sweet corn tamalito. My sense is that this should be fluffier. I WILL attempt this one more time in a casserole dish...and only because it tasted so damn good. Maybe I'll just go to Ross and pick up a 1 1/2 qt. souffle dish just because I need this to come out just like the picture. It's so good I feel a challenge coming on to get this right. I'm competitive like that.
I just downloaded the Nikon software to get my new digital in the mix. The pics are way better than my cell cam and I just played with this groovy collage feature. I still haven't figured out the placement of photos within one post.
Live and Learn! Such is life.

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