The author and cook, Heather

Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread

Brown Sugar Kitchen

Oddly, I don't think I have ever had spoon bread before I made this recipe. I'm kind of meh about most cornbread; there are a few very particular ones I REALLY like (and none I love that I make myself), but most is kind of dry and just not worth it to eat. This is so different, though! The soufflé quality of this spoon bread makes it light and moist, even when you reheat it (like I did with the leftovers, because it makes a LOT.)

There are several steps to this recipe, though none of them are actually that hard. (Whipping egg whites is the most difficult of them.) If you like spoon bread, or have the same problem with cornbread that I usually do, you should try it! I had a bit of a mishap with overflowing the baking dish, so I would suggest using a larger one than called for.

You could serve this as a dinner side, like I did -- it gives me big stuffing/dressing vibes, to be honest -- or as a vegetarian main course with a salad, or even as breakfast or brunch. It's very versatile!

I found this recipe online here:


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with heather
[00:07]: today we're going to continue working
[00:08]: out of tonya holland's
[00:10]: brown sugar kitchen cookbook and we're
[00:13]: going to be making
[00:14]: herbed mushroom spoon bread this is
[00:17]: she says sort of like a cross between a
[00:19]: cornbread and a souffle
[00:21]: so there's whipping egg whites there's
[00:24]: um actually cook the cornmeal before you
[00:27]: add this
[00:27]: i don't think i've ever had spoon bread
[00:30]: honestly
[00:31]: i know it's a southern thing but it's
[00:34]: nothing that
[00:35]: um anybody in my
[00:38]: sphere has ever done so
[00:41]: but it seemed interesting and we all
[00:43]: love we all love
[00:44]: mushrooms and so sounded good
[00:48]: the first thing i have to do is quite a
[00:50]: bit of prep
[00:52]: i'm going to um mince
[00:55]: some shallots which means just a really
[00:57]: small dice and they're going to go in
[00:58]: one bowl
[00:59]: i'm going to slice up my mushrooms so
[01:02]: you can use any kind of mushrooms that
[01:03]: you like i have
[01:05]: she calls for just white button
[01:08]: mushrooms i have
[01:09]: a combination of those and some creminis
[01:12]: that i
[01:12]: which baby portabellas same thing that i
[01:15]: got from my
[01:16]: produce box this week which is another
[01:19]: reason why i decided i wanted to make
[01:20]: this recipe
[01:22]: i have some time which i'm very annoyed
[01:25]: because they're all in little bitty
[01:27]: stems instead of long ones which means
[01:29]: i'm gonna have to pick it
[01:31]: all off a lot more um
[01:35]: individually rather than sort of
[01:37]: stripping leaves off of a long
[01:38]: stem which is gonna be annoying but i'm
[01:41]: gonna do that
[01:42]: um i'm gonna have to separate some eggs
[01:46]: and i think that's it
[01:49]: you guys probably won't see a lot of
[01:51]: this but i thought that i would
[01:53]: go ahead and film it just because you
[01:56]: know
[01:57]: it's something you guys don't always get
[01:59]: to see from me
[02:00]: and we might keep some of it in we'll
[02:07]: see
[02:11]: started by slicing them thinly and now
[02:13]: i'm just going to sort of mill
[02:14]: my knife through them until they are
[02:18]: as small as i would like them to be
[02:29]: okay i'm gonna call that good it's not a
[02:31]: great dice but for eight minutes but
[02:34]: the shallots were very pungent i have
[02:38]: some
[02:39]: had some dripping issues with my eyes my
[02:41]: nose everything
[02:43]: i think i'm okay now so i'm gonna slice
[02:46]: up my mushrooms um i
[02:48]: don't think there's not any real
[02:50]: indication of
[02:52]: how thick to slice them so i'm just
[02:54]: going to go sort of medium i guess
[02:57]: and put those in a separate bowl because
[02:59]: they go in
[03:01]: after the shallots and i'm just going to
[03:04]: get those all sliced up
[03:06]: [Music]
[03:18]: so slice my mushrooms and the next step
[03:19]: is to pick the thyme
[03:21]: which i'm not real thrilled about but
[03:23]: i'm just going to pick the leaves
[03:25]: off of the stems and i didn't really
[03:28]: measure it but i'm going to kind of go
[03:30]: by
[03:30]: eyes and it should be fine
[03:33]: i'm going to just put it in the same
[03:34]: bowl with the mushrooms
[03:36]: because they go into the pot into the
[03:38]: pan at the same time so
[03:42]: if they're if you have a nice long stem
[03:47]: you can just pull like that and get
[03:50]: everything off
[03:51]: and so for this one it's not so bad
[03:55]: but there's some small ones on here
[03:58]: small side stems and i don't know
[04:02]: i want to see how
[04:08]: picky i'm going to be about that
[04:15]: thyme has small enough leaves that i
[04:17]: mostly don't bother
[04:18]: to chop them up um and
[04:22]: if you are making a stew or anything
[04:24]: with a sauce
[04:25]: you can easily just leave it on the
[04:28]: stems
[04:28]: and the leaves will come off and you can
[04:31]: just pull the stems out
[04:32]: before you serve it and that is
[04:34]: perfectly fine
[04:39]: i am going to call that enough i think
[04:41]: that looks like about the amount she
[04:43]: calls for
[04:45]: and next i need to separate some eggs
[04:47]: and move this away
[04:49]: clean up a little bit so i'm going to
[04:51]: put
[04:52]: the whites in here and the yolks in here
[04:54]: and i'm going to use the
[04:55]: use those uh in two separate steps to
[04:59]: come
[04:59]: so keep fingers crossed i don't mess up
[05:03]: because we're going to whip these whites
[05:05]: until they are a soft peak at least
[05:09]: yeah medium stiff peaks
[05:14]: okay so the last thing i need to do is
[05:17]: to prepare
[05:18]: my pan and probably heat my oven which
[05:20]: i'll get going after i do this
[05:22]: but so this is like a one and a half
[05:24]: quart i think
[05:25]: or 1.4 liters it's a good thing about
[05:27]: this book she includes both measurements
[05:29]: i think this is 1.6 liters whatever it's
[05:31]: fine um baking or souffle dish
[05:34]: and you uh butter it so i'm just going
[05:36]: to
[05:37]: i've got some unsalted butter here and
[05:40]: i'm just gonna
[05:43]: rub it around and get it all covered
[05:51]: and i think that is all we have to do
[05:55]: over here so we will meet you at the
[05:57]: stove in just a minute
[05:59]: so now we have to cook the shallots and
[06:01]: the mushrooms before we can put them in
[06:03]: our bread because
[06:04]: they certainly won't cook enough in the
[06:07]: bread to be tasty
[06:09]: so you need to cook them before you put
[06:10]: them in the bread i've got
[06:12]: some unsalted butter over medium heat
[06:15]: and so i'm gonna put
[06:16]: put these in here and cook the shallots
[06:18]: for a little while first
[06:22]: i turn my heat up just a smidge it's
[06:24]: been
[06:25]: maybe four minutes since i put them in
[06:27]: and i'm ready to add in our thyme
[06:29]: and our mushrooms it's gonna be a lot of
[06:33]: mushrooms for this pan but
[06:35]: it's how much it calls for
[06:41]: and then she says to salt and pepper
[06:43]: this there are no measurements
[06:46]: for the salt and pepper in this um
[06:49]: just so it's kind of
[06:52]: like you normally would to taste that's
[06:57]: do a couple of big pinches of salt
[07:01]: kosher salt and some fresh
[07:05]: cracked black pepper
[07:11]: there we go there's no other salt in
[07:14]: this dish
[07:15]: so yeah
[07:20]: no other places where she tells you to
[07:21]: add salt or pepper so
[07:23]: this is it
[07:30]: and we're gonna cook these um until
[07:34]: the so when you cook mushrooms they
[07:37]: release water
[07:38]: and then that water gets evaporated or
[07:41]: um reabsorbed i think it mostly gets
[07:43]: evaporated through the cooking method
[07:46]: um and then the mushrooms are pretty
[07:48]: much
[07:49]: done you don't you don't want them to be
[07:50]: wet going in here so we're going to
[07:53]: cook these until that process happens
[07:56]: she says about eight minutes i'll keep
[07:58]: track so you can see here we've got a
[08:01]: lot of extra liquid
[08:04]: in the pan and so we're just kind of
[08:05]: waiting for that to go away
[08:07]: and then we'll be done with this for now
[08:11]: i'm going to call this done you can see
[08:13]: they're still moist but there's no
[08:14]: standing water and or liquid
[08:18]: fluid in the pan um when i
[08:22]: move it around and so now i'm going to
[08:24]: switch this out
[08:25]: take this off of the heat and put
[08:29]: a she says she says a heavy bottomed
[08:33]: um saucepan i'm going to use my saucier
[08:36]: because we're going to be
[08:37]: whisking this and the sausage is great
[08:39]: for that
[08:42]: i'm going to put in some whole milk
[08:50]: and i'll turn the heat up to medium high
[08:53]: as she instructs and we're gonna let
[08:57]: this go until there are
[08:58]: bubbles forming around the edges which
[09:01]: means it's
[09:02]: about to boil but we don't want it to
[09:04]: fully boil
[09:05]: because boiling milk is bad
[09:08]: so i had a few bubbles already so it's
[09:11]: kind of hard for me to tell but i'm
[09:12]: pretty sure i'm getting
[09:15]: some more and i can hear it like it's
[09:19]: kind of
[09:19]: boiling under the surface so i think
[09:23]: i think we're ready for the next step
[09:25]: here and now we're going to slowly whisk
[09:27]: in
[09:28]: some cornmeal um i just happen to have
[09:32]: fine ground white cornmeal
[09:36]: on hand so that's what i'm using
[09:56]: [Music]
[10:05]: all right so now i'm going to turn this
[10:09]: down to low
[10:12]: and whisk this constantly for about
[10:16]: 10 minutes until it thickens up
[10:22]: it's been about 10 minutes and honestly
[10:24]: my hand hurts my arm hurts
[10:26]: just done with whisking so i'm going to
[10:28]: turn off the heat
[10:30]: i'm going to add some more unsalted
[10:33]: butter
[10:34]: and some grated cheddar cheese this is
[10:37]: the same white cheddar that i had
[10:40]: for the biscuits that we made recently
[10:45]: and so i'm going to whisk these in
[10:50]: off the heat um i just want to move it
[10:53]: to the side a little bit
[10:59]: until the butter is all melted and the
[11:02]: cheese is all
[11:02]: incorporated okay
[11:07]: now i'm going to add one at a time my
[11:10]: egg yolks
[11:11]: as one at a time as i can make it happen
[11:14]: anyway
[11:17]: and then whisk those in
[11:26]: now i'm done with whisking but
[11:31]: there are no instructions in this recipe
[11:34]: about
[11:35]: when to add the mushrooms to your batter
[11:39]: i looked online and i didn't see oh i
[11:42]: should
[11:43]: i didn't see anywhere i
[11:47]: found this recipe online but everywhere
[11:48]: that i found it except for one place
[11:50]: um didn't include when to add mushrooms
[11:54]: and the one place i did see it was
[11:56]: after you fold in the whipped egg whites
[11:59]: and i think that's probably a bad idea
[12:00]: because
[12:01]: you know you don't want to knock down
[12:02]: your egg whites any more than you have
[12:04]: to
[12:04]: so before we move over to
[12:08]: whisk our egg whites i'm going to
[12:11]: incorporate our
[12:14]: mushrooms with our batter
[12:18]: our mushrooms and our shallots and our
[12:20]: thyme
[12:21]: into our cornmeal batter here
[12:26]: i'm just going to stir it up get it
[12:29]: all mixed up and we're going to leave
[12:32]: this off of the heat
[12:34]: while we whisk the egg whites
[12:40]: all right that's starting to look pretty
[12:43]: much
[12:44]: like i would expect so
[12:47]: that's a good thing we'll meet you back
[12:50]: at the counter to whisk the egg whites
[12:52]: so now we need to whip our egg whites i
[12:54]: have just
[12:56]: just a stand or a hand mixer here
[12:59]: instead of the stand mixture because i
[13:00]: don't want to get all that out
[13:01]: so i'm going to whip these until they
[13:03]: are have medium stiff
[13:05]: peaks which means when you pull this up
[13:08]: the peaks
[13:10]: curl a little bit they don't have to
[13:12]: stand up straight but you don't want
[13:13]: them to curl a lot so
[13:16]: i think we're there yes
[13:19]: that's pretty good so now i just need to
[13:22]: fold
[13:22]: the egg whites into the batter
[13:27]: okay it says to fold these into that
[13:29]: instead of the other way around
[13:31]: so i'm going to put all of these in here
[13:34]: and then
[13:35]: fold
[13:42]: all right so
[13:46]: folding sort of go through the middle
[13:48]: and then
[13:51]: pull some over the top over
[13:54]: and over we're trying not to
[13:59]: deflate our egg whites but instead
[14:02]: use them to lighten up
[14:05]: the batter you don't want to have
[14:09]: too many white spots but
[14:13]: you also don't want to stir it too much
[14:24]: getting to the point where i think i'm
[14:26]: done there are still a few
[14:29]: [Music]
[14:31]: little white streaks but i don't want to
[14:34]: overdo it so now i'm going to pour it
[14:36]: into my
[14:39]: very slippery prepared pan
[14:42]: which seems like it's not big enough but
[14:45]: this is the size that she told me to do
[14:50]: so
[14:56]: i'm not sure about this
[14:60]: my pan is actually slightly larger than
[15:03]: she suggested even
[15:04]: so this is gonna be fun i'm gonna leave
[15:08]: it in this pan
[15:11]: but i am in fact going to
[15:15]: put it on a baking dish so i'm going to
[15:18]: put it on a baking tray
[15:20]: just in case it overflows
[15:23]: this goes into my 350 degree oven for 50
[15:26]: minutes until it is
[15:28]: puffed and golden brown puffed gives me
[15:31]: pause
[15:32]: but we're gonna do it and we'll let you
[15:34]: know what it looks like when we're done
[15:44]: on this episode of cooking the books
[15:45]: with heather you watched me make
[15:47]: herb mushroom spoon bread from tonya
[15:50]: holland's
[15:51]: brown sugar kitchen cookbook and
[15:54]: i've never had anything like it uh it
[15:56]: was
[15:58]: a little difficult because you have to
[16:01]: whip the egg whites and fold them in and
[16:04]: you have to cook the mushrooms and
[16:06]: the shallots you know shallots and herbs
[16:09]: and everything beforehand
[16:11]: but i think i enjoyed this more than i
[16:14]: enjoy
[16:15]: most cornbread honestly um
[16:20]: it was very moist so i i'm not really
[16:24]: had souffle very often
[16:25]: certainly not a savory cheese so souffle
[16:28]: i've had a chocolate souffle for dessert
[16:30]: delicious i don't think i've ever had a
[16:32]: savory souffle and that
[16:34]: is what this reminded me a lot of
[16:36]: because it was
[16:38]: very moist and very sort of risen and
[16:41]: eggy
[16:43]: but i enjoyed it the kids liked it okay
[16:46]: my husband liked it okay
[16:47]: but i think i enjoyed it more than
[16:49]: anyone else um
[16:50]: i did have a little bit of a problem
[16:53]: with the recipe
[16:54]: uh you may have seen it overflowed
[16:57]: my uh vessel a little bit as it baked
[17:01]: it was okay still worked it was still
[17:05]: delicious but i do think that
[17:07]: um either i did something very wrong or
[17:10]: the one and a half quart
[17:11]: uh baking dish that she calls for is not
[17:15]: quite enough anyway
[17:18]: um yeah i enjoyed it i'm not sure i'll
[17:21]: be making it again
[17:22]: but if it's if you like spoon bread if
[17:24]: you like a moister
[17:26]: souffle like cornbread i would certainly
[17:28]: give it a try
[17:30]: and i reheated some of it in the oven
[17:33]: um because we had lots of leftovers
[17:35]: because it does make quite a bit
[17:37]: for our family of four um so and they re
[17:41]: it reheated really pretty well although
[17:44]: my husband did say
[17:45]: it didn't taste quite as much of
[17:47]: cornbread
[17:48]: on reheating i think you got a lot i got
[17:51]: a lot more of the mushroom flavor
[17:54]: um after it was reheated
[17:57]: why that is i don't know but um anyway
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