Bacon and Cheese Spoonbread

This is a wonderful version of a southern favorite.

¾ cup cornmeal
1½ cups cold water
½ pound mild cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks, well beaten
½ pound sliced bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine cornmeal and water; cook and stir until thick as mush. Remove from heat and add cheese, butter, garlic, salt and white pepper. Stir to melt cheese. Gradually add milk and stir in egg yolks. Add bacon, reserving some for garnish. Fold in egg whites. Pour the mixture into greased 2-quart casserole.

Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Top with butter and bacon crumbs.

Yield: 6 servings