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Italian Baked Beans

Italian Baked Beans made with white beans, bacon, rosemary, crushed tomatoes, Italian dry red wine and Asiago and Pecorino Romano cheeses.

Summer is a time for grilling and barbecues. One popular menu item can usually be found at most gatherings…baked beans. This is an alternative…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound bacon, small dice
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup small diced red onions
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and small dice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry red Italian wine
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
  • 4- (15-ounce)cans small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; then add in the bacon. Stir until crisp about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the onion, celery, and carrots and allow to soften for about 5-7 minutes; then add in the garlic, rosemary and the cooked bacon and cook for another minute.
  • Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to simmer down until reduced by half; then add in the tomatoes, lemon zest, chicken broth, both cheeses and beans. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat allowing some of the liquid to absorb.
  • Combine the cornstarch and water together and gradually add it to the beans until they have thickened (you may not need all of it); then transfer to a 2 quart oven safe baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the beans are hot and bubbly.

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Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread—a cross between a warm corn muffin and a slice of sweet potato pie. Perfect for casual and holiday meals.

This Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread recipe has all of the components of a southern cornbread. I’ve added mashed sweet potato for a tasty twist and brown sugar for a richer sweetness. It has a tender and moist crumb with the sweetness is not too overpowering. I like to serve it hot with a generous smearing of molasses butter.


  • Bake fresh sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes if you can. Baking will give you a sweeter potato with more flavor. If you can’t bake them, microwave them using the potato setting but don’t boil them. I explain the reasons why baking sweet potatoes is better than boiling in my Sweet Potato Pound Cake recipe.
  • Mash the sweet potato but don’t purée it. Puréed sweet potato has no hold and will act as a liquid causing the cornbread to fall apart. You want small pieces of sweet potato throughout.
  • Use 2-3 small potatoes to make a cup of mashed. One large potato should do the trick but to be safe, I would make a little more.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread—a cross between a warm corn muffin and a slice of sweet potato pie. Perfect for casual and holiday meals.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 c self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c sweet potato mashed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c butter melted
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Molasses Butter

  • 1/2 c salted butter
  • 1 tbsp molasses

INSTRUCTIONS

  • To make this cornbread, start by adding the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Next, beat together mashed sweet potato, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  • Pour the sweet potato mixture into the flour. Stir in most of the way then whisk in the milk. Beat until smooth but don’t over mix.
  • Pour the batter into cast-iron skillet prepared with melted butter. I heat the skillet to mealy the butter letting it brown a little for an extra flavorful crust.
  • Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the center has set.

Molasses Butter

  • Whip the salted butter with the molasses until creamy. 

NUTRITION

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Iron: 2mg

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