Beans are economical and versatile. This recipe gives you lots of options for seasoning and additions, and is paired with this cornbread that is also pretty versatile. If you have a Crock Pot, you can have this cooking all day, and then make the cornbread about an hour or so before dinner.
1 bag pinto, kidney or black beans (I prefer kidney or pinto, because black beans just make everything purple)
1 carton (box) of chicken or vegetable stock (chicken if you’re an omnivore, veggie if you’re not)
2 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp red pepper flake
1 packet onion soup mix
1/2 pound salt pork, diced; or six strips of bacon, diced; or 5 links of andouille sausage, sliced (again, if you’re a vegetarian, omit the meat, or add a veggie version)
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the beans in a colander, and then soak overnight. If you don’t have overnight to soak, follow the directions for the quick cook on the bag. When you get ready to actually cook them, drain 1/2 the water from the beans, then add the broth, soup mix, and meat. If you’re using a Crock Pot, just put it on low and walk away. If you’re using the stovetop method, cook according to the directions on the bag. About an hour before serving, add in all the spices, stir, and continue to cook on low. Serve with cornbread.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk (seriously, but OK, use regular milk if you don’t believe me)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup cooked bacon, diced
1 cup crumbled cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped jalapenos (if you dare)
Mix everything together. You should probably mix all the dry ingredients first, then pour in everything else, but sometimes I just don’t care. So I mix it all together. Then pour it in a greased 9×9 pan. And bake it, for about 25 minutes, in a preheated 400 degree oven. Or, you know, when a toothpick comes out clean – just make sure you don’t stab a place that has cheese or something in it.
Cut into pieces, and butter if you think you need it. Serve with beans, or with chili. Or more cornbread.