Believe it or not, I've never made "ham and beans". Frankly, until recently I wouldn't eat any beans other than Van Camps or green beans. I love chili, but HATE kidney beans. There's always a little pile of beans left in my bowl.
A dinner we had on vacation last summer opened my eyes to pinto beans and I've been experimenting with different beans ever since. What I discovered is that some beans aren't so icky. The little ones that don't have a tough "skin". I still can't accept kidney or lima beans into my life. Baby steps ...
After making chili this winter using pinto beans instead of kidney beans and actually eating the beans (it was actually hard to not automatically pick the beans out!) I decided it was time to go out on a limb and make/try ham and beans - one of the two meals at home when I was a kid that I would literally try to hide from . (The other is … liver and onions. AWwwKK! I don't care how old and mature I get, I will NOT eat them anywhere! Take THAT Sam I Am!)
I had to look up a recipe for Ham & Beans. They all looked pretty much alike, but almost all called for using one lb. of navy beans, soaked overnight. I cheated and used beans in a jar. DH says that is what he remembers his mom using and we had frozen some leftover ham chunks. Little else is required!
1 - 48 oz jar Randall's Great Northern Beans
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 Tbls Dry Parsley
Just throw it all in a nice, heavy pot and simmer it all on the stove for anywhere from a half hour to an hour and that's it! I had to add about 3/4 C water because it got too think and pasty, and of course, the seasoning can be adjusted - but this is just my starting point.
What goes with Ham'n'Beans?? Cornbread! Cornbread muffins are akin to cupcakes! My hubby loves these corn muffins and they're especially good with Mexican style food. We really liked them with the ham 'n' beans, too.
1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 box Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 C Milk
1/3 C Water
2 Tbls Vegetable Oil - I use Canola
1-4 oz Can of Chopped Green Chilis, drained
1 C shredded Cheddar Cheese
Mix the DRY cornbread mix and the DRY cake mix in a bowl. I use my tried and true Tupperware Mix and Pour (I think that's what it's called) because I like being able to … get this … mix and pour the batter into the cupcake cups! Theoretically, you're supposed to mix the eggs, milk, water, and vegetable oil in another bowl. I'm lazy and don't like having an extra bowl to wash, so I do it all in one. Mix the ingredients together just enough to make sure all the ingredients are mixed and stop. Add the green chilis and the cheddar cheese and mix just enough to make sure everything is fairly evenly distributed.
Fill your muffin cups (greased) or cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
You can sprinkle the tops with more shredded cheese immediately after removing them from the oven and it will melt on top. Never too much cheese!! I got carried away trying to remember to take pictures that I forgot to top them with more cheese shreds. Oops! We managed to eat them anyway.
This makes about 16 muffins.
Adapted from Taste of Home's Quick Cooking 2000