Wednesday, 17 October 2012
One of the things I like most about the autumn it the cooler temperatures which call for heartier meals. One doesn't mind heating up the kitchen when the temperatures outside are dropping and indeed, something hearty and warming is more than welcome at this time of year.
The nights are drawing in, and there's a definitely crisp feeling to the air. It's time to get back to real cooking, comfort food . . . food which fills the belly, warms the heart and helps to hold warm up those chilled bones.
This is my favourite time of year. It is a time when there is wonderful seasonal food in abundance . . . ham, broad beans, apples, pears, potatoes, onions, leeks, cabbages, cauliflowers, corn, pumpkins, squashes and tomatoes . . . it's all good.
Bonfire night is looming in just a few weeks now as is Halloween. It doesn't seem possible that the year is that far gone already . . . but that nip in the air tells me it is so.
This is the perfect time for this hearty casserole . . . a store cupboard favourite which uses simple ingredients, combined in a simple way . . . and simply baked, with fabulously delicious results.
Todd has always said he doesn't like butter beans, but when I do them this way, he always comes back for seconds. I love it when that happens . . . aside from Pasta nights, I really do want him to be happy with what I put in front of him at supper time.
Most of the time he is, and when I make him happy, I make me happy as well. I do hope you will give this tasty and easy casserole a go. I just know you will like it. Delicious. Easy. Economical.
What more could you want? I like to serve it with my own homemade Brown Batter Bread. You can find the recipe for that over on my Recipes From the Big Blue Binder Blog. (Bet you didn't know I also cooked over there too. Well, now you do. I don't cook as often over there as I do here, but I believe that it's worth a visit when I do.)
*Baked Butter Beans*
If you thought you didn't like butter beans, think again. These are fabulous.
60g of butter, melted (1/4 cup)
110g of sour cream (1/2 cup)
100g of soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup)
2 TBS light molasses
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
4 (400g) tins of butter beans, drained (15 ounce tins)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 3 liter baking dish. Set aside.
Rinse the butter beans and then put them into a bowl. Mix together the melted butter, sour cream, brown sugar, molasses and dry mustard. Pour this over the butter beans and toss gently together to mix. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 to 50 minutes longer, until the liquid begins to cook away but not until they are dry. Serve hot.
Note: you can make this a day or so ahead and then reheat gently just prior to serving. They are also delicious with cubes of ham, bits of bacon or pancetta, or sliced smoked frankfurters added prior to baking.