When it's just us, I like to set a nice table
With a tablecloth, real napkins
my beloved blue and white
And a centerpiece
An heirloom crochet tablecloth,
linen napkins in "our" silver napkin rings
the blue and white transfer ware
My ivy topiary
(bought in 2000 for my first Valentine's luncheon --
I am so glad I decided on the ball rather than the heart)
And a bowl of apples
(It is apple season, after all)
And for dinner
A new recipe from Bon Appetit -- called "Franks and Beans"
Husband thought it quite tasty
And the best cornbread I've ever made
(I've always been disappointed with my cornbread)
"Sweet and Cakey Northern Cornbread"
from America's Test Kitchen
I'll definitely be making the cornbread again
(In fact, it will be the cornbread recipe from now on)
and the Franks and Beans will grace our table many times this winter!
FRANKS AND BEANS
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic cloves, smashed
1½ lb sweet Italian sausage links (about 6), divided
2 15-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
1 cup dry white wine
10 flat-leaf parsley stems
10 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (such as oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon), divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5–8 minutes. Remove and discard casings from 2 sausages; add sausages to pot. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until sausages and onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add beans and wine to pot and cook until wine is reduced by half, 8–10 minutes. Using kitchen twine, tie parsley and thyme into a bundle; add to pot along with bay leaves and broth. Cook on medium-low heat, partially covered and stirring often, until liquid thickens, 40–50 minutes. Discard bundle and bay leaves. Mix in butter and 2 Tbsp. chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, after beans have been cooking for about 25 minutes, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook remaining sausages, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Slice.
Divide bean mixture among bowls. Top with sausage slices and remaining 1 Tbsp. chopped herbs.
NOTE: I used cans of three mixed beans — kidney, cannellini and black bean.
SWEET AND CAKEY NORTHERN CORNBREAD
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
2 t. baking powder
2/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 c. frozen corn, thawed
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 T. butter, melted and cooled
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400.
Generously coat an 8 inch square baking pan with vegetable spray
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in
a large bowl.
Mix the buttermilk, corn, brown sugar and eggs together.
Gently fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, then fold in the melted
butter until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until deep golden brown and a pick inserted into the middle comes out with
a few crumbs, about 35 minutes.
Let the cornbread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unfolding onto a wire
rack to cool for 10 minutes.
NOTE: I made a half recipe and baked it in two individual cast iron skillets.
It's Thursday and I'm sharing my dinner table with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for