Chestnut Spoon Bread With Fontina Cheese
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter - (1 stick)
- 1 cup whole peeled roasted chestnuts (from 7.4-oz jar)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pasta flour (golden semolina flour) (available at specialty foods stores, Italian markets, and some supermarkets)
- 1 1/4 cups coarsely-grated Fontina cheese - (packed) (abt 5 oz)
- 5 large eggs separated
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. Sauté 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.