Friday, December 28, 2007

Beans 'n' Cornbread

In between Christmas and New Year's we try to keep the food a little lighter here. Beans are not as heavy as you may think, but heavy enough to be filling, and more than that, comforting. There's nothing better on a cold day, I assure you.

When I was a kid, my mom made beans and cornbread often. She's from the Midwest in an area that was settled mostly by people from Tennessee and Kentucky, so most of the food that mom grew up with had a heavy Southern influence. Regardless, my mom never made beans and cornbread with pinto beans; she always used navy beans.

I don't have an exact recipe for these beans, but it goes a little like this:

Cover 1 pound of navy beans with water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse them. In a big, heavy pot, cook about 5 slices of diced bacon until crisp. Don't drain that bacon grease! Leave it where it is and add a chopped onion, one chopped carrot and 2 chopped celery ribs. Add the beans and cover by one inch with chicken stock. Cook this over a low flame for just about forever, or until the beans are soft and the stock has thickened a bit. Add a generous tablespoon of salt and a healthy dose of pepper. Don't add salt while the beans are cooking or they'll get tough.

While those beans are cooking for the last half hour or so, make your cornbread. Please don't use that boxed stuff, real cornbread is so easy to make that there's just no excuse for it.

Makes one 8x8 pan
Printable Recipe

1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
2 T. sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 c. oil

Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder
and stir together well.
Mix in milk, egg and oil.
Don't over mix this, you want your cornbread to be tender,
not rock-hard! Mix just until moistened.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a greased 8x8 pan at 400 degrees F
or until golden brown.

Now, you can serve this in a big bowl with the cornbread tucked off to the side, or do what we always did; smother that cornbread with beans and eat 'til you pop!


Perri said...

Anne, I never knew about the salt in the beans. Thanks for that tip. I love beans and cornbread with fried potatoes!

Anonymous said...

That sounds amazing. A perfect recipe for those after holidays lunches. I've never made cornbread so I will have to try your recipe.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Looks yummy! I love this blog.


Adopted Son said...

hmmmm I thought Grandma made this all the time. I remember her pressure cooker rattling on the stove. How about a cabbage and ham recipe? Eh? Eh?

Anonymous said...

Wow that does look beautiful...I think I will start cooking this now.

Anne Coleman said...

Hey big bro! Granmda made cornbread nearly every day of her life. The beans are more a mom memory for me.

Suzy-Q said...

I will try your cornbread tomorrow! I have a funny story to share. When I met my husband he told me that his mother made the best cornbread in the world and it was a secret recipe. I agreed with him the first time I went over to her house for beans and cornbread. I bragged on her later that evening she pulled me to the side and said, "It's just Jiffy!" I laughed and laughed. Now I have the best cornbread in the world too. :o)

Anne Coleman said...

Aunt Jo, you just wait! I have a review coming up for a cookbook all about cornbread--yum!