"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beans and Cornbread, Y'all!!

I grew up eating pinto beans and cornbread. It's a cheap way to feed a whole crowd of people and it's just plain good! My Grandmother on my Father's side of the family was not very interested in cooking and because of this, she was not the best cook. One of the few meals she excelled at was beans and cornbread. Now, she always used salt pork in her beans, but today we will be using some smoked sausage.

First up, we will measure out three cups of dried pinto beans and put them in a colander. Give them a good wash and discard any cracked, broken, or shriveled looking beans and debris.

Next, put your beans, chopped garlic, chopped up smoked sausage, salt, and pepper into your crockpot or slow cooker. If you look closely, you'll see that my sausage is still frozen. When I buy smoked sausage, I divide most of it up into 1/2 lb portions, chop it up, and freeze it for later use. Next, pour in your water so that it is about 1 1/2 to two inches above the surface of the beans. Cover them and set on low and cook all day (8-10 hours or so) until soft. When they are ready, it's time to make some cornbread.

This was originally from a bag of Aunt Jemima Yellow Cornmeal but, it seems that the folks at Aunt Jemima no longer make the plain cornmeal, just the cornbread mix. *grumbles*
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, oil or drippings
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar, (optional)
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt, (optional)
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place vegetable shortening in 10 inch ovenproof skillet, or 8 inch square baking pan. Heat in oven 3 minutes, tilting skillet to coat bottom evenly. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients. Stir milk and egg until blended. Stir in melted shortening and mix thoroughly.

Pour batter into hot skillet.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Homemade cornbread never lasts long with Mr. Hairball around. *grins*

Another Semi-Ho Enchilada Recipe...

A while back, I made some beans and threw in some leftover brisket and we ate it with homemade corn tortillas. There was some of the bean and brisket mixture leftover, so I froze the leftovers for another day. Recently, I pulled some of this out of the freezer, let it defrost, and made up some enchiladas. I know some people prefer to make a new dinner every night but, I like to make larger quantities of some things with the intention of freezing some for another day or purpose.

Preheat your oven to 350F and round up a 9x13 baking dish. Open up your can of enchilada sauce (28 oz) and pour some in the bottom of your baking dish. Open up your package of tortillas and put 12-15 on a plate. It would be best to heat them up to make it easier to roll. (I didn't because I was feeling lazy and they were going to be covered up with sauce and cheese anyway. LOL) Cover and heat them in the microwave or wrap them up in foil and heat in the oven till warm. Dish out about three tablespoons of the brisket/ bean mixture down the middle of a tortilla and roll it up and place in the bottom of your baking dish. If the tortilla tears just do your best to roll it up. Nobody will know after it is baked!
Repeat with your remaining tortillas until the dish is filled. Then pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top.

Next, sprinkle as much cheese as desired on top.

Then, bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted. Yes, that is a blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack that was in that bag at the top. *hangs head in shame*

Sorry about this one. I wasn't thinking and dished these out with a spoon so it's not that pretty. They were very good! Mr. Hairball likes lots of light sour cream on top of his enchiladas. *grins*