Sunday, October 21, 2007

Unbaked Beans, Cornbread, and Roasted Veggies

Dinner tonight was extra delicious. I had some leftover bean-and-bacon soup that I made yesterday night, and which mostly tastes like baked beans but even better, along with cornbread, roasted sweet dumpling squash, and roasted green beans. The beans are great--the taste of baked beans but without any baking, and very easy to do. The cornbread is also very easy and good--adapted from a corn muffin recipe of Dorie Greenspan's, but baked in a round pan.

I recommend looking for the sweet dumpling squash if you can find it--acorn is also delicious, but the sweet dumpling is really special. We got a couple in our CSA box last week and have greatly enjoyed them.

Unbaked Beans (slightly adapted from Food and Wine)

6 oz. thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 T tomato paste
1 T maple syrup or 2 tsp brown sugar and 1 heaping tsp honey
Two 15-oz. cans pink or red beans, not drained
3 c chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
Cayenne Pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over medium high heat until browned and crisped, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a place and pour off all but 2 T of the oil.

2. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and syrup or sugar/honey, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until everything is incorporated and bubbling. Add the beans with their liquid and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the chicken stock and bacon, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 15-20 minutes or more (depending on how thick you want it).

Corniest Cornbread (slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Corniest Corn Muffins)

1 c all purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
6 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 c buttermilk
3 t melted butter, cooled
3 T vegetable oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk

1 c frozen (or fresh) corn
fresh marjoram, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round pan or a muffin tin.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients. In a glass measuring cup, combine wet ingredients and whisk together. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together with a rubber spatula, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the corn and marjoram.

3. Bake until a tester comes out clean and cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Roasted Squash and Green Beans

1 sweet dumpling squash
1 acorn squash
olive oil
green beans
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet with tin foil. Cut the squashes in half and use a pastry brush to brush oil over all the cut surfaces. Place face-down on the cookie sheet, two on each end with a gap in the middle. Put the squashes in the oven.

While the squash starts to cook, prepare the beans by rinsing and then cutting off both ends of each bean. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pull out the cookie sheet and dump the beans in the middle.

Bake about 20-25 minutes longer until the squash is soft and the beans are nicely browned. You may want to check one or two times during cooking and toss the beans to make sure they don't burn. Optionally, toss the green beans with balsamic vinegar before serving. The squash is also excellent with a scoop of sour cream on top.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.