Pimiento Cheese Spoon Bread

cooking spray
1/2 cup, plus 2 teaspoons, cornmeal, divided
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (I didn't measure; just used a pepper mill and guessed)
3 eggs, separated
3 ounces pimiento cheese (for testing purposes, I used Mrs. Weavers)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Coat a 6-cup souffle dish with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cornmeal. I don't know if I used a "souffle dish" or not, but it worked.

Combine 1/2 cup cornmeal, milk, salt and black pepper in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until thick, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Be careful.  When it gets thick, it gets thick almost instantly.  Don't turn your back on it.  It could result in a big mess.

Gradually whisk egg yolks and pimiento cheese into cornmeal mixture.  Pour into a large bowl; cool completely.  I didn't let mine cool completely because of time.  I'm sure the end result would have been lighter and fluffier if I had.

Beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold into cornmeal mixture.  Spoon batter into prepared dish.  Bake 1 hour, or until puffy and browned.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4.  Mine was nice and puffy then collapsed after about 3 minutes out of the oven.  I think if I had let it cool before adding the egg whites, this may not have happened.  But it was still good!

This is a recipe I clipped from the Sunday paper.  I have had it for quite sometime, but finally tried it out last night.  It was "uh-wishus" according to my 3-yo son.  In fact, we all loved it.  It was somewhere between a souffle and cornbread.  And no, it doesn't taste like pimiento cheese.  Don't let that part scare you.  We decided it needed to go in the family cook book.  It is a very basic recipe and next time we plan to spice it up a bit with red pepper and/or jalapenos and/or green chilis.  A heavy hand of Salt & Spice wouldn't hurt it either.

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