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Chestnut Spoon Bread With Fontina Cheese

Whole roasted chestnuts (now conveniently packed ready-to-use in jars) and creamy Fontina cheese enrich this take on a classic southern bread.

Courses: Breads
Serves: 8 people

Recipe Ingredients

8 tablespoons 120mlUnsalted butter - (1 stick)
1 cup 237mlWhole peeled roasted chestnuts - (from 7.4-oz jar)
2 tablespoons 30mlChopped fresh thyme
3 cups 711mlWhole milk
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlSalt
1 cup 62g / 2.2ozPasta flour (golden semolina flour)
  = (available at specialty foods stores,
  Italian markets, and some supermarkets)
1 1/4 cups 182g / 6.4ozCoarsely-grated Fontina cheese - (packed) - (abt 5 oz)
5 cups 990g / 34ozEggs - separated (large)

Recipe Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 11- by 7-inch glass baking dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add chestnuts and thyme. Saute until heated through, breaking chestnuts into 1/2-inch pieces with back of spoon, about 4 minutes.

Bring milk just to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add salt, then gradually whisk in pasta flour. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until mixture is very thick, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, then 1 cup cheese, whisking until cheese melts. Whisk in egg yolks 1 at a time; stir in chestnuts. Beat egg whites in large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into warm flour mixture in 2 additions.

Transfer to prepared dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake spoon bread until puffed and beginning to brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; serve warm.

This recipe yields 8 servings.

Bon Appetit, November 2001


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