30 Days of Thanks: Sweet Potato, Apple, and Sage Spoon Bread
I hope you’re hungry, because this week is going to be recipe week on Au Coeur. I have a huge backlog in my picture files (still thankful Chris rescued them!!) and am going to make myself share them with you.
Despite the barrage of recipes, I’m not a food blogger and I never will be. First of all, there are way too many obstacles to me taking truly good pictures of food: my tiny kitchen with things all over the counter; the fact that I almost always have to cook late at night which equals horrendous lighting; my measly little point-and-shoot camera which does fine in natural lighting but is essentially no better than a cell phone in any other lighting; and the little hands that seem to make their way into nearly every shot I take during daylight. (Those little hands, by the way, also do some potentially disastrous things to recipes when my back is turned…like pouring a whole glass of water into a bowl of whipped egg whites, jjust in case I forgot why I normally cook after bedtime. Thankfully, the water poured right off, no harm done.)
Second, life just seems to get in the way. I love food. I’m so thankful for the amazing recipes shared by some of my currently favorite food bloggers and I do think many recipes are just dying to be shared. Eating should be a communal experience and with family so far away and friends rarely sharing dinner I’m thankful for the breaking and sharing of bread online. I want to participate in that, but when it comes down to it, there is only so much time and there are so many things to write about. So food gets put on the back burner.
Third, of course, is that nagging little issue of our budget. If money was no object, oh the things I would cook. It took me forever to decide to make the recipe below, because it uses four eggs. Four! Lately, I’ve been trying to finagle recipes to only use one; four seemed like a huge number. Finally, I couldn’t resist and broke down and made it. And let me tell you, I couldn’t have just four eggs any better way than in sweet potato, apple, and sage spoon bread…
All that, and yet I do have good food writing intentions and so I take pictures and pictures and pictures as I cook. And I even attempt to scribble down recipes for the things I ake off the top of my head, which is a challenge in itself since I don’t really measure much anymore. So this week I’m going to put those good intentions to that test and I’ll add a few more recipes to the site for you to enjoy…though I’m sure my measly attempts at food blogging will remind us all to be thankful much better food bloggers are out there! Oh, yes, and let’s be thankful for Epicurious, too. My most favorite of online recipe banks.
- 2 baked sweet potatoes, about 1 lb. (can be baked a day or two in advance)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 6-ounce baking apple, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Peel sweet potatoes and put into a medium-large bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add apple; sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add apple to sweet potato; mash together. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring milk, sugar, sage, and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook until cornmeal absorbs milk and pulls clean from bottom of pan, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in warm cornmeal mixture. Whisk in baking powder. Mix sweet potato mixture into cornmeal mixture. Beat egg whites in medium bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Fold whites into warm cornmeal mixture.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large baking dish in oven. Remove from oven and swirl pan to coat. Pour batter into baking dish. Transfer to oven; bake spoon bread until top is golden and puffed, about 1 hour. Serve warm.