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Sweetpotato Spoonbread

Recipe by The Asbury’s Executive Chef Chris Coleman for the NCSPC
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  • Spoonbread:
  • 1 cup heirloom grits
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb white sweetpotatoes
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Celery Butter:
  • 6 stalks celery, juiced
  • 1/2 lb butter, melted and cooled
  • Coffee-Sorghum Belly:
  • 1 1/2 lbs pork belly
  • 2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup sorghum molasses, divided
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoon smoked Maldon salt
  • White-Chocolate Gel:
  • 1/4 lbs white chocolate
  • 2 sheets gelatin, about 1 envelope


  • Spoonbread : Prepare a baking dish (loaf pan works welby spraying with pan spray. Cook grits according to package directions until stiff, then beat in butter. Peel potatoes and grate on a box grater (small holeand quickly stir into grits before they oxidize. Cook grits until all sweetpotato water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whip egg whites to soft peaks and set aside. When grits have cooled to just above room temp, beat in egg yolks quickly. Fold in beaten whites, and pour into prepared pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven until spoon bread has puffed and no longer wiggles when shaken gently. Either serve right away, or allow to cool and portion.
  • Celery Butter : Combine celery juice and butter, adjust seasoning. Allow to cool and slightly set.
  • Coffee-Sorghum Belly : In an oven-proof, high sided pan, sear pork belly on stove until golden brown. Add coffee and ¼ c sorghum, cover tightly with a lid (or foil), and braise in a 250 degree oven until tender, around 2.5-3 hours. Remove belly from liquid and on to a sheet tray. Cover with a piece of parchment paper, place another tray over and top with a weight (a large can of food works well). Allow to press overnight in a fridge. Slice belly into 1 inch pieces and lay on a sheet tray. Melt together remaining ¼ c sorghum and butter and brush belly pieces with glaze. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until belly is starting to crisp and is well glazed. Sprinkle with smoked salt.
  • White-Chocolate Gel : Place white chocolate on a sheet tray and into a hot oven and cook until golden brown. While chocolate is caramelizing, bloom gelatin in water until pliable. Working quickly, scrape chocolate into a blender and cover with water. Blend until smooth. Measure liquid. If you have less than 2 cups, add more water. Return hot liquid to blender and blend in bloomed gelatin. Pour into a shallow container in the fridge and allow to set. Once set, return to blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little water to loosen it, but final gel should be smooth and creamy. Transfer to a squeeze bottle.
Assembly: Spoon some celery butter on a plate and drag the bag of a spoon through it quickly to “swoosh” it. Place a piece of pork belly on the swoosh, and arrange some spoonbread next to it. Pipe dots of white chocolate gel artfully along the line of the swoosh. Garnish plate with celery leaves, if desired.