What to do with half a carton of buttermilk? Make spoonbread!
I stumbled on this easy and light recipe a few summers ago while looking for culinary inspiration beyond banana bread to use up the buttermilk sitting in my fridge. The result is a tangy and souffle-like concoction that makes a great side dish to any grilled meat. It's also a tasty vegetarian entree when accompanied by a salad or some green vegetables.
This spoonbread is in my favorites file because my son Sam asked for it again more than once.
Adapted from Relish.com
Butter to coat casserole dish
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow or white cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar or colby, optional
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 1 1/2 quart (4 cup) casserole dish.
Warm buttermilk in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cornmeal and stir frequently, until thickened and smooth. This should take about 3 minutes. Stir in butter and salt. Remove from heat and let cool.
While buttermilk mixture cools, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Whisk egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture. Stir in green onions and the cheese, if using. Gently fold in the egg whites, a little at a time, into the cornmeal mixture. Be careful not to mix or you will deflate the egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared casserole dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The spoonbread should be puffed and golden brown on top and set in the center. Note: The top may split, which is totally OK! Serve warm.