Cheddar-Corn Spoon Bread

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Spoon bread, a classic southern side dish, is actually more like a pudding than a bread. 
It’s so soft, it can be served—and eaten—with a spoon. 

1  tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish                             
2  cups milk    
1 1/2  cups corn kernels    
2/3  cup yellow cornmeal 
Coarse salt 
Pinch cayenne pepper    
1  cup finely grated sharp white cheddar cheese   
4  large eggs, separated 

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish or casserole; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, corn, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Let cool until just warm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Stir in egg yolks until combined.
2. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the whites into cornmeal mixture until combined, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Pour into prepared dish.
3. Place dish in oven; reduce oven heat to 375 F. Bake until browned on top but still slightly loose in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Note: Folding in egg whites: To avoid deflating beaten egg whites, use quick, circular motions, running spatula down through center then up at sides. Serves 6.


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