Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ham, Beans, and Cornbread: Easter Leftovers the Sequal

In thinking about what to do with my leftover Easter ham I can't believe ham and beans didn't cross my mind until a co-worker brought some to lunch.  It felt like a forehead slap moment.  Derp!  How could I not have thought of this especially since I have a pantry full of beans I need to use.  I used pinto beans instead of the more traditional navy bean.  I was a little concerned that the pinto beans would become too creamy and have almost a refried bean texture, but they worked about perfectly.  The beans were soft and tender, creamy, but not mushy.  The best part of all was that I put everything in the crock pot this morning before I left for work and came home to perfectly cooked beans.  I don't think I'll ever cook beans on the stove again.  I always get impatient and take them off too soon which results in crunchy beans.

I also made a batch of cornbread, which turned out really well.  I used this recipe.  It is a Southern cornbread, so it's not very sweet.  Next time I think I'll add a bit more sugar because I guess I like more of a "Yankee" cornbread.  I did bake this in my cast iron pan, and I will continue to cook cornbread this way.  The cornbread mixed up very quickly and baked up with a delicious texture.

When I cook beans I always lay them out on a cookie sheet and check them before they soak.  This prevents any stones from making it's way into my final product.  Please don't skip this step!  It only takes a minute and is completely worth it.
 Soaking beans reading to go into the fridge overnight
 Cornbread batter in the skillet
 fluffy cornbread
 Finished product

I didn't get any pictures of the ham and beans because I couldn't get a flattering picture.

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