My Recipe Box

Sweet Potato & Grits Spoon Bread

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Serves twelve.

Technically, spoon bread is made with cornmeal, but I prefer the texture of this pudding-like dish when made with coarse, country-style grits. Instant grits and even polenta will also give the dish good corn flavor and a wonderful texture. If using one of these substitutions, follow the package directions for cooking times.

For the sweet potatoes:
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 2-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 eggs, separated
For the grits:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped shallot
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne (optional) 
  • 1-1/4 cups stone-ground grits
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream

Put the sweet potatoes in a large pot; cover with water and 1-1/2 tsp. of the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and purée the potatoes in a food mill or ricer. Fold in the remaining 1 tsp. salt, the white pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Set aside.

While the potatoes boil, cook the grits. In a medium heavy-based pot, bring the water, garlic, and shallot to a boil. Add the butter, salt, and cayenne. Gradually whisk in the grits. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits are cooked and creamy and just start to pull away from the side of the pot, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the cream.

Heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato purée with the grits. Mix in the egg yolks. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks; gently fold them into the sweet potatoes. Spread the mixture in a 9x13-inch casserole and bake until pudding sets and the top is lightly browned, about 35 minutes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 210; Fat (g): 4.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 40; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): 39; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): 630; Cholesterol (mg): 60; Fiber (g): 2;

Tried this for the first time on Thanksgiving and will definitely keep it in the rotation. Great taste and texture. Made and baked the day before, then reheated at 350 for a half hour or so.

A yummy side dish for the turkey. The name is off-putting: texture is more soufflé-like, with perfectly balanced sweetness & a tiny bit savory. I made the dish one day ahead, placing it in oven before meal.

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