Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Bean and cornbread casserole

Kids: porridge with jam
Me: nothing (wasn't hungry after eating huge bowl of chili last night)

Our favorite junk food - (white) french bread with hummus and taramasalata

Bean and cornbread casserole
1 cup polenta (fine cornmeal)
1 cup water (or 1 cup lime water*)
1 cup yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk
3 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tbsp butter
1 onion
1 cup cooked beans
500g sausage meat

If using lime water, then soak the polenta in the lime water for about 7 hours, then stir in the yogurt and leave in a warm spot for another 12 - 24 hours. If not, then soak the polenta in the water and yogurt mix for 12 - 24 hours.
Saute the onion in the butter. Mix half into the polenta mix and mix half with the beans. Butter a Pyrex or other oven proof dish. Spread the sausage meat over the bottom of the dish and then spread over the beans.
Separate the eggs and mix the yolks into the polenta, along with the salt and baking soda. Beat the whites until they are stiff and then fold them in. Pour the batter over the beans and sausage meat.
Bake at 375oF for 45-60 minutes. Serve with salsa and a salad.

This recipe is a definite work in progress! It was very nice, but next time I think I will add a tomato-y sauce to the beans and put some Parmesan into the corn batter. But it will be appearing on our table again soon. With more beans the sausagemeat could be left out (especially if there was a sauce on the beans) making this a vegetarian meal.

* Make lime water by putting about 1 inch of pickling lime into a 2 quart (about 1.9 litres) jar and filling it with filtered water. Shake well and cover and leave overnight. After the powder has settled, the clear liquid is lime water. Soaking in lime water frees up the nicotinamide (vit b3) in corn. If you use corn regularly as a staple this is important as pellagra (b3 deficiency) is very nasty. As it is an occasional food for us (and I don't have any pickling lime) I didn't bother with this step.

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