Matt's Chipotle Sweet-Potato Spoon Bread

By: Matt Armendariz

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks the best part of Thanksgiving is the sides. While I'm definitely a turkey lover (dark meat, please), it's that plateful of savory stuffing, mashed potatoes, greens in the form of beans or brussels sprouts and the sweet tang of cranberries or chutney that really gets me going. And as long as I'm confessing my love for sides, I'm not afraid to tell you that I'll make more than necessary so I have plenty to indulge in (and lots for leftovers). Maybe one year I'll even have an entire Thanksgiving feast just of side dishes. It could happen.

We've already headed into the kitchen to test and try some holiday sides and this spoonbread will definitely make the list for November 25th. This Southern dish is a relative of cornbread and a bit soufflé in nature, with a moist fluffy texture that pairs well with vegetables or holiday meats like ham, turkey or duck. It's easy to make, holds up well and it's also pretty adaptable. In my version I add chipotle pepper, which adds a smoky dimension that holds its own on the plate. Not to worry though — it's neither hot nor super spicy (but could be by increasing the amount of diced chipotle peppers). And if you want to top it with a pat of butter, or even a drizzle of melted butter, I certainly won't stop you.

Chipotle Sweet-Potato Spoon Bread
3 cups of milk
3/4 cup corn meal
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and minced super fine

1 tablespoon adobo sauce, strained of seeds (add more if you want a smokier flavor!)

(You can find chipotles in adobo in cans at specialty and Latin markets)

  1. In a medium sauce pan heat the milk until just boiling. Whisk in the corn meal and salt, stirring quickly.
  2. Drop the heat to low and continue to whisk until thickened. Remove from heat, set aside and let cool, about 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 350˚ degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  4. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine the cornmeal mixture, mashed sweet potato and the brown sugar and beat on low speed until just combined.
  5. With mixer still on low, pour in the melted butter. Mix for 1 minute then turn off mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  6. After scraping add flour, baking powder, eggs, chile and adobo liquid to the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes then pour the batter into the prepared 2-quart baking dish.
  7. Cook for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the spoonbread puffs up a bit and browns.
More posts from Matt:

Find Matt at mattbites.com.

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