16 4-ounce ramekins
3 ears corn, husked
2 ¾ cups whole milk, separated
1 cup polenta
2-3 marrow bones
4 tablespoons beef fat
2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for greasing baking dish
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 eggs, separated into yolks and whites, at room temperature
Splash of lemon juice
Basil-almond pesto (recipe follows)
½ cup toasted whole or sliced almonds
4 cloves garlic
4 cups basil leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ good-quality olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Char corn on grill or under broiler, making sure all of cob is completely charred (but not burned). Let cool and remove kernels from cob.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups milk with polenta. Whisk to blend.
- Next, render marrow bones and scrape remaining marrow from them. Reserve marrow.
- Sauté corn in butter and beef fat for 3–5 minutes. Add remaining milk to pan and bring to boil, then remove and let steep for 10–15 minutes.
- Return reserved marrow to burner and add milk-polenta mixture. Stir until it starts to thicken, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, and let cool to room temperature.
- Whisk in egg yolks until blended. In a separate bowl, beat whites and lemon juice to stiff peaks. Fold whites into polenta mixture, ⅓ at a time, until completely incorporated.
- Fill heavily greased 4-ounce ramekins ¾ full and bake for 25–28 minutes, until tops are golden brown and spoonbread has risen above the top of the ramekin by ½ inch. Serve immediately with basil-almond pesto on top.
- In food processor, pulse almonds and garlic until finely chopped.
- Add basil, lemon juice, and zest and pulse 8–10 times to incorporate.
- Turn processor on and slowly drizzle in olive oil. Continue to spin pesto until smooth but not a paste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a few times to blend evenly.
- Use immediately or store in fridge in an airtight container topped with a thin layer of olive oil. This pesto also freezes wonderfully.
- from Executive Chef Aaron Hoskins of The Rogue Gentlemen, Richmond, VA