Corn-bacon bread with tomatoes

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the bread

4 strips streaky bacon, diced
160g stone-ground polenta
650ml whole milk
10g sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
320g corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

For the tomatoes

450g tomatoes, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
15g chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as coriander, basil and parsley
1) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 170C/Gas 3.

2) Cook the bacon in a frying pan until just crisp; transfer to a kitchen-paper lined plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan. Grease a 1.5L shallow baking dish with some of the drippings and dust with 2 teaspoons of polenta. Place on a baking sheet.

3) Add the milk to the remaining bacon fat in the pan and bring to a boil over a high heat. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the remaining polenta. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, the sugar and the cayenne. Lower the heat to a simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the corn, spring onions and bacon; remove from the heat.

4) Beat the eggs with an electric whisk until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes; add the baking powder. Stir a quarter of the whisked eggs into the polenta mixture, then carefully fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until puffed and golden, about 50 minutes.

5) For the tomatoes: Toss the tomatoes, olive oil and herbs in a bowl with salt and black pepper to taste, set aside for at least 5 minutes. Let the spoon bread rest for 10 minutes, then serve with the tomatoes.

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