Thursday, March 6

Beans and Cornbread

Randi at I have to say... is hosting a "Money-saving meal" recipe swap today. My contribution is an old family favorite: Beans and Cornbread. I've never considered Beans and Cornbread a meal worth sharing with anyone outside my family, so I decided to do a quick search to see what the general consensus is regarding this meal before admitting we eat it frequently and quite happily.
Appalachian Home Cooking History, Culture, & Recipes says "Soup beans were such a staple during the winter that general stores, when they began carrying dried beans, carried 50 lb. bags alongside the typical 1, 2, & 5 lb. bags. In the winter months, a pot of beans simmered on the stove of every house every day." (via Wikipedia) I guess they've been pretty popular.
I know restaurants serve Beans and Cornbread and I found a restaurant named Beans and Cornbread in Southfield, Michigan.
I found an enthusiastic review of Beans and Cornbread with beautifully photographed instructions for making your own at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. She loves beans and admits it quite freely! (her photo, above)
Lastly, my own family history: Both of my grandmothers served Beans and Cornbread-one served it with spinach, one with fried potatoes (as I read is also typical). My mom served ours with potatoes. These days, I consider remembering to cook a big pot of beans accomplishment enough and don't bother with sides. Except the cornbread, of course. And regarding cornbread...I am a fan whether it's sweetened or not. I usually use a no-frills recipe, but today I'm posting a jazzed-up version to accompany my no-frills beans.
Without further ado, here is my recipe for Beans and Cornbread.

Buy a 2 lb. bag of dried pinto beans. Follow cooking directions on the back of the bag or do this...
Open your bag o' beans and pour into a colander. Rinse the beans and discard any bits of dirt, rock or other non-bean material. Pour beans into large pot. Add water to about 3 inches above beans. Soak overnight.
Bring water to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Test beans for desired degree of firmness or smashability.
Salt to taste. I suggest 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound of beans.

Corn Muffins with Green Onions and Sour Cream
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed, drained (I usually skip this option)
1 cup chopped green onions
I add 1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese mix and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk sour cream, eggs, and melted butter in another bowl. Add sour cream mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in corn kernels and green onions (or cheese).
Divide batter equally among 12 lined muffin cups. Bake until golden and tester inserted in center of muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack.
(Bon Appetit, November 1994)

Serve your beans over your cornbread or butter your bread and eat it on the side, but definitely use it sop up your bean juice.
Use a portion of your beans for making chili, refried beans or burritos, freeze some for later or just eat up!


Johanna said...

Yummy! I really like beans, and sometimes I wonder if it is "good enough" to serve for dinner! I am so glad to see that others eat it for dinner too...The cornbread recipe looks really good. You've motivated me to put this on the menu - and I already have a bag of pinto beans in the pantry!

Anonymous said...

I am printing this off because it sounds great. Thanks for sharing!

Renna said...

Beans & cornbread was a regular occurrence in our house when I was growing up in Oklahoma and Texas. Though I love them now, I didn't care for them as a child, so I'd usually resort to a pb&j sandwich on beans night. I did partake of the yummy fried 'taters' my mom always cooked whenever we had beans & cornbread, though.

As an adult, I've grown to like them, and as they're packed full of cancer-fighting fiber, I try and make them on a regular basis. I look forward to trying your cornbread recipe!

Anytime we have a picnic ham, I save the bone with a good amount of meat still on it. I wrap it up and freeze it until I'm ready to cook a big pot of beans. I put the hambone in the pot of beans while they're cooking. It adds a small amount of meat and a large amount of flavor to the pot.

Sandra Lundy said...

This recipe sounds great! I'll freely admit that I love beans! They are one of my family's favorite foods...I cook them at least once a week :) I grew up having them regularly and I still love them! You can do so many things with can make them as exciting or as dull as you want :) Thanks for sharing your recipe!! :)

Anonymous said...

I've never tried sour cream in my corny cornbread but this sounds really good. I'm going to try this. Thanks!

lori said...

We are BEAN people....In fact tomorrow I'm trying the chickpea recipe...
and cornbread!!! yum!!
thanks for's the simple meals that are the best!!!
have a great Friday!

Sharon said...

Bean and cornbread have always been a staple in our home while growing up and we still cook them frequently here in my own home.

These look GOOD, and the cornbread like a winner too.

I have a son-in-law that uses Mayo instead of sour cream on his beans and cornbread. Always thought it looked strange, but it's YUMMY.