Monday, January 17, 2011

Eatin' on the Cheap

Born and raised in south Texas, I grew up eating plenty of pinto beans: refried, charro, in chili... But somehow I've yet to grow tired of them. Babydaddy grew up eating a lot of beans as well, but more of the Louisiana variety: red kidneys, limas, etc... Needless to say we eat a lot of beans around here.
1. they're cheap
2. they're versatile
3. they're just good

Tonight for dinner we had pinto beans (and cornbread, of course), but this is pretty much my basic method for preparing any dried bean or pea, so feel free to substitute.

Now a word about the cornbread. For about three years now I have been hooked on Jiffy Corn Muffins. I know that makes me a bad foodie, using a box and all, but I LOVE the sweet deliciousness that is Jiffy. I stumbled across this recipe at Mommie Cooks! a few weeks ago while playing in food blog land, I made them once and bid Jiffy farewell without a second thought. If you like your cornbread sweet (and even if you don't), please try this. Oh so good.

Pot O' Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans
1 yellow onion, quartered
3-4 garlic cloves, skin off and smashed
1 fresh jalapeno, whole
4 slices bacon
a good palmful of Tony Chachere's (or salt and pepper)
a good pinch of cumin

Soak beans according to package directions. Drain beans and cover by 1/2 to 1 inch fresh water in a large pot. Place pot over medium heat, add onion, garlic, jalapeno, and bacon. Bring to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer. Let it roll. Allow to simmer for at least two hours then add seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Honey Sweet Corn Bread
Adapted from Mommie Cooks!

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup ap flour
4 tsp baking powder 
2 Tbsp white sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix your dry ingredients (first five) together in a large bowl. In another bowl mix together vanilla, honey, egg, and milk.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until everything is moistened. Finally stir in the melted butter. Now, pour the mixture into a greased 9x9 pan (i use a 9" cast iron skillet) and bake for 25 minutes.


  1. dude, i'm totally doing honey next time instead of the ridiculous amount of sugar i usually use in my cornbread.

    i LOVE beans, but i'm afraid if i made beans and cornbread for dinner, scott would be like, 'where's my meat?' he'll eat the SHIT out of chili leftovers, though. go figure.

    what about limas? how do you feel about maybe some ham or something up in a pot of lima beans?

    remember our failed canning adventure with the 'blood red' tomatoes last summer? i still have three jars of speckled butter beans from that day. yum.

  2. billy did the 'where's the meat' thing to.. and then he ate the beans and cornbread.


  3. ooh my mama made beans this way too.

    okay i will try to pry myself away from my jiffy boxes and make scratch cornbread again. but i won't guarantee that jiffy won't make its way back into my pantry again. plus i like this idea of honey more than sugar.

  4. i actually think it tastes a lot like jiffy, but its fluffier and honey-er. :)