Recipe: Make South City Kitchen’s Spoonbread

South City Kitchen's Spoonbread. Courtesy of Fifth Group

Credit: Courtesy of Fifth Group

Combined ShapeCaption
South City Kitchen's Spoonbread. Courtesy of Fifth Group

Credit: Courtesy of Fifth Group

Credit: Courtesy of Fifth Group

I had never even heard of spoonbread until I saw it on the menu at South City Kitchen in Midtown. They serve it topped with smoked pulled pork, caramelized onions, poblano peppers and white barbecue sauce. The combination was delicious, but we loved the spoonbread itself and would love to make it at home. Will they share the recipe? Sarah Brown, Atlanta

When South City Kitchen’s culinary director Chip Ulbrich sent the recipe, he wrote, “The inspiration behind this dish at South City Kitchen was to offer a sharable, crave-able appetizer that spoke to our Southern roots. What better representation than spoonbread?”

Spoonbread is an old-fashioned Southern dish that resembles cornbread but bakes up with a moist, almost custard-like texture from all the eggs in the batter. The spoonbread will rise slightly as it bakes and then, like a souffle, lose a little volume as it comes out of the oven.

The restaurant bakes its spoonbread in individual 7-inch cast-iron skillets and then tops each skillet with the combination of ingredients our reader lists and garnishes it with sliced green onions. At home, you may want to serve it simply with butter and honey.

The caramelized onions used in South City Kitchen’s spoonbread are something the restaurant makes in batches and uses in their pan-fried chicken livers as well as in the spoonbread. To make your own, put a small amount of your choice of fat such as butter or a vegetable oil in a medium skillet and add white or yellow onions cut into 1/4-inch slices. Turn the heat to medium-high. After 2 minutes, stir the onions and decrease the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking the onions, stirring often, until they have softened and browned to the color you prefer. This can take 30 minutes or more. Allow the onions to cool and store covered in the refrigerator until needed. They’ll keep for two weeks. A quarter pound of onions will yield about 4 tablespoons caramelized onions.

If using Morton’s kosher salt, cut the quantity in half.

South City Kitchen’s Spoonbread

For the highest rise and the crispiest crust, bake the spoonbread in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. If you do not have one, substitute a 9-inch heatproof skillet or square or round baking dish.

From the menu of ... South City Kitchen, 1144 Crescent Ave., Atlanta; 404-873-7358,

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