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Revive Your Sunday Supper with ONE-DISH Dinners

The concept of Sunday Supper was introduced to me 20 years ago. I met, fell in love with and married the oldest of three (first generation) strapping Greek boys. I was the first “not to be Greek” wife in the entire family.

No pressure, none at all.

I will never forget My Yanni inviting me to meet his family and enjoy a Sunday Supper with them. I was in no way prepared for what I was about to walk into. Sure I’d grown up enjoying family meals around the kitchen table but I had never experienced a weekly feast that included the entire extended family that could rival any major holiday.

Now imagine, if you will, walking into a kitchen pulsating with authentic Greek music, a mass of people laughing & talking loudly (including my in-laws speaking very fast and furiously and only in Greek) with a stove top full of bubbling pots, a table full of more chairs than I could count and me standing there in awe. It didn’t take long for me to be pulled in the delightful chaos and find myself setting the table alongside my soon-to-be-brother-in-laws while sipping on wine that had been placed in my hand without me even realizing it. Sunday Suppers were and still are quite the experience! Only now we have even more people crowded around the table and my mother-in-law seems to spend countless hours cooking in the kitchen. She will happily spend the whole day making everything from scratch. I gotta tell ya I’ve often worried about how in the world I would be capable of carrying on this most cherished tradition. That was, until I met Pam Anderson.

Pam is a phenomenal lady, culinary wizard and contributing editor of Fine Cooking magazine.  She has written many incredible cookbooks, but her latest, “Perfect ONE-DISH Dinners” has saved me, my family and the future of our Sunday Suppers! Her book is a collection of recipes for entire meals from the appetizer course to the dessert. And the best part? If you can believe that it gets any better, every main course is an easy one-dish meal.

When Pam and her lovely daughters invited me to write a post about Sunday Suppers and Perfect One-Dish Dinners, I was both honored and overjoyed! I had cooked from Pam’s cookbook already but using this as a fantastic source for all of my future Sunday Suppers had never occurred to me. And they are right! This book will assist me in Sunday Suppers for years to come. It will never leave my side, or my kitchen or my house or my life.

After pouring over the book for the perfect dish I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to go all out with a lamb recipe! I had never (gulp) ever dared to even think of preparing lamb before. The pressure to perform and to be compared to the centuries of relatives who had perfectly prepared lamb was just too much.

But now, knowing that I had Pam on my side, I decided to make the Braised Lamb Shanks.

Pam suggests starting the meal with Parmesan Pepper Crisps.

Crispy, salty, peppery, festive little clouds of perfection. The perfect way to tantalize your taste buds.

I will be making these religiously from this day forward.

After everyone had happily crunched away on the yummy Parmesan Crisps (and I had safely hidden some away for a midnight snack), the salad was served.

We dined on Baby Spinach with Fennel, Oranges, and Red Onion. The salad was perfection. Delicate baby spinach mixed with sweet juicy oranges, paired with red onions and the gentle flavor of black licorice provided by the fennel would make any Greek god dance.

Next, the moment that I had been waiting for. The unveiling of the lamb. The quintessential essence of Greek life. I couldn’t decide what was causing my forehead to bead with sweat more, the heat from the oven, the sting of my very first burn while cooking this dinner or the anticipation of waiting to see if I had cooked my way into the ranks of Greek Goddess.

After the oooh’s and aaah’s had subsided, the question that I had been dreading was asked. “Wendy honey (spoken in a thick Greek accent) how did you make this?” “It’s delicious.”

*Rats*

I had to admit right there and then in all my glory that I had indeed not slaved over 15 boiling pots to prepare this incredible meal. I admitted that this delicious meal was made in <sigh> one-dish. The tender lamb and succulent side of beans with tomatoes and vegetables, they were all made in one-dish in no time flat. And my mother-in-law? To my surprise, she was overjoyed and intrigued by my one-dish method.

The finale of my flawless Greek inspired meal was the Shredded Baklava Cups. They were nothing short of a religious experience. You’ll never believe how easy it is!

First, you’ll want to place 12 cupcake liners into muffin tins and spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

These are the simple ingredients that you’ll need: honey, sugar, pistachios, butter and cinnamon.

And of course, phyllo dough, the star of this delectable dessert.

When working with phyllo dough, the key to perfection is keeping the phyllo moist.

A damp dish towel wrapped around the dough covered in plastic does the trick.

You’ll want to create ribbons out of the phyllo dough and it’s really very simple. Leaving the phyllo rolled up, cut crosswise into 1 inch slices.

Shake each cut section of phyllo dough into a bowl allowing them to fall and voila you’ve got ribbons.

Next, pour 1 cup of pistachios into a food processor,

and pulse until finely ground.

Sprinkle all but 2 tablespoons of the finely ground pistachios and cinnamon into the phyllo ribbons and toss.

Pour 1/4 of the melted butter over the phyllo ribbons, toss to coat…

and repeat until butter is gone.

There is just nothing more divine than a bowl of phyllo dough ribbons covered in butter, cinnamon and pistachios.

OPA!

Now you’re ready to fill each muffin cup with the phyllo ribbons,

press gently with finger tips.

Sprinkle remainder of finely ground pistachios over each phyllo cup.

Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350º until golden brown.

In the meantime, bring 6 tablespoons of honey, water and sugar to a boil, set aside and let cool.
Drizzle over Baklava cups then prepare yourself to taste a little piece of heaven.

W.S. Gilbert once wrote:

“It’s not so much what’s on the table that matters, as much as what’s in the chairs.”

But after easily preparing, heartily consuming and thoroughly enjoying a delicious one-dish meal, I kinda think that I can enjoy BOTH.

May you & your family enjoy many special Sunday Suppers to come.

Wenderly

Here’s Pam’s Shredded Baklava Cups recipe, you can buy the book on Amazon for all of the other delicious recipes!

Shredded Baklava Cups
Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Perfect One-Dish Dinners
(makes 12 servings)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 8-ounce package (from a 16-ounce box) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 cup roasted pistachios, finely ground in a food processor, set aside 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons water

Here’s what you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350º. Place 12 cupcake liners into muffin tins and spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

Slice rolled phyllo dough crosswise into 1 inch strips.

Place phyllo strips into bowl by shaking into ribbons. Pour in all but 2 tablespoons of finely ground pistachios and cinnamon, toss gently with fingers to evenly coat phyllo ribbons.

Pour melted butter 1/4 at a time over phyllo ribbons, toss to coat, repeat until butter is gone.

Fill each muffin liner with phyllo ribbons, gently press into cups with fingers and sprinkle each with remaining ground pistachios.

Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown.

How to make honey drizzle:

Pour 6 tablespoons of honey, water and sugar into a pan and bring to boil. Set mixture aside until cooled to warm. Drizzle honey mixture over Baklava cups.

Enjoy!

Make Sure to Enjoy More Sunday Supper One-Dish Dinners From These Fab Peeps!

TickledRed.com

SheWearsManyHats.com

DadCooksDinner.com

RecipeGirl.com

ArtofGlutenFreeBaking.com

KitchenGadgetGirl.com

MyBakingAddiction.com

ThisWeekForDinner.com

BluebonnetsandBrownies.com

TheSensitivePantry.com

WhatsCookingBlog.com

TwoPeasandTheirPod.com

WhatsGabyCooking.com

Bellalimento.com

SmithBites.com

MyFavoriteEverything.com

FoodForMyFamily.com

SavoringTheThyme.com

Ivoryhut.com

DineAndDish.net

WhatWeAreEating.com

PickyPalate.com

GlutenFreeGirl.com

HowTo-Simplify.com

lafujimama.com

Sugarcrafter.com

Rookiemoms.com

Steamykitchen.com

Lapommedeportland

Categories
Eat Main Courses

Baked Beans with Cornbread Caps

There is nothing more delicious on a hot summer day than something divine sizzling on your grill. The other evening as My Yanni, aka My Grill Master was doing his magic, I was in the kitchen whipping up the rest of the meal.

Which suits me just fine. It’s hot out there…especially with the grill going and now that My Yanni has a charcoal grill, well forgheeeet aaaaboout it. It’s just not my thing.

My thing is standing in my kitchen in the luxury of air conditioning thank you very much.

I like to prepare the side dishes and set the scene. In the air conditioning.

So as I was going about my business in the air conditioning, I got to thinking about my favorite summer dishes. Well there’s salad. I always make a salad. I LOVE salad. But then there are all the other fantastic sides. Take for instance baked beans. I do adore baked beans. But sometimes their just too, well, predictable. So I got to thinking about it and decided to come up with something different. Something sophisticated but easy, traditional with a twist.

I decided to mix old with the new and throw in a few favs that give the old stand by a new flare.

These are the usual suspects for a “traditional” baked bean recipe only with a Wenderly twist. There’s mustard, I used dijon instead of yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, beans of course (but I used 4 different varieties) brown sugar, garlic and shallots (instead of onions).

Now, I must back up a minute. While I was putting this all together in my head, I glanced at the balsamic vinegar that was innocently waiting to dress my salad.

That’s when it hit me.

I remembered one of my all time favorites…a balsamic BBQ sauce by Giada De Laurentiis (she’s another one of my favs) now that would be PERFECT paired with beans.

But a regular ole baked bean dish all gussied up in a balsamic BBQ sauce just wouldn’t do. So I decided to go a sophisticated route by using a medley of beans nestled in charming ramekins, pancetta instead of bacon and the cous de gras would be baking the beans with corn bread right on top.

Yep, you heard me. Cornbread, baked right on top of the baked beans.

And that my friend is how baked beans with a cornbread cap was born.

Now here’s the skinny on how to make them.

We’ll start with the balsamic BBQ sauce.

The star of this sauce is of course….balsamic vinegar. You’ll need 1 cup.

Pour the cup of balsamic vinegar into a pan.

Look at that gorgeous balsamic vinegar.

I could just get lost in balsamic vinegar.

Look into the vinegar and you’ll get very, very sleepy…

…or at the very least see your reflection.

Once you have the balsamic vinegar in the pan, you’ll just add…

ketchup,

brown sugar,

Worcestershire sauce, or “what’s this here sauce?” which is what my grandfather always called it.

Dijon mustard,

And of course a little bit of salt and…

pepper.

Stir all ingredients with a whisk until incorporated  & smooth. Simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes until the liquid reduces by 1/3.

Now grab your pancetta. I found mine already already diced, but of course, you could dice it yourself.

Pancetta is an Italian style bacon. It’s salty. And smokey. And simply divine. It definitely gives the beans the sophistication that I was looking for.

Saute the panetta in a little olive oil.

While the pancetta is crisping you can dice your shallots and garlic.

I decided that shallots would add a fuller flavor than plain old onions.

Now peel your shallots & garlic and dice away.

Once your pancetta is golden brown, add the shallots & garlic into the pot. The pancetta makes a nice little bed for the shallots & garlic so they don’t burn.

Now for the beans.

I used 4 different beans, kidney, navy, pinto and black beans. I love the way the different colors and sizes look and taste.

Drain the beans but don’t rinse, you’ll want some of that yummy liquid to enhance the dish.

Add the beans to the pancetta, shallots & garlic.

Gently give a stir.

Look at that gorgeous bowl of beans.

Once the balsamic BBQ sauce is reduced by 1/3, pour it into the beans.

Now mix it all together and let it simmer for about 10 minutes with the lid on stirring occasionally. The balsamic BBQ sauce needs to get to know the beans and soak up the flavor.

** WARNING ** Use all self control to not just grab a spoon and dig right in.

Next all of this deliciousness needs to be put into darling little ramekins that are sitting on a baking sheet. Trust me, you don’t want bubbled up & over baked beans all over your oven.

Fill each ramekin about 3/4 of the way.

Put the filled ramekins into a 400° oven for 30-35 minutes. You don’t want them to get to dry, you’ll be putting them back in the oven to bake off the cornbread caps.

Time to make the batter for the cornbread caps.

I used Jiffy mix. It’s a tried and true stand-by at my house.

These are the 1,2,3 easy ingredients. Jiffy mix, egg & milk.

Whisk everything together.

Now take some of that cornbread batter and dollop it onto the pre-cooked baked beans.

Stick the cornbread batter topped ramekins back into a 400° oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch to make sure that they only get golden brown and not too dry.

They should look something like this.

Grab a spoon and dig in.

Summertime never had it so good.

A traditional stand-by made into a sophisticated one dish delight.

Does it get any better than this?

Well, only if you’re smart enough to stay in the air conditioning.

Stay cool!

Wenderly

Here’s the easy printable recipe:

Wenderly’s Baked Beans with Cornbread Caps

(Serves 10-12)

INGREDIENTS

Balsamic BBQ sauce: (or use your favorite BBQ sauce)
BBQ Sauce adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper

Beans:

  • 1 16oz can Pinto Beans
  • 1 16oz can Black Beans
  • 1 16oz can Kidney Beans
  • 1 16oz can Navy Beans
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 oz Pancetta
  • S&P to taste

Cornbread Caps:

  • 2 boxes of your favorite cornbread mix plus ingredients shown on the box

DIRECTIONS

For the Balsamic BBQ sauce:
Pour all ingredients into a sauce pan. Stir until incorporated and smooth.  Simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Stir frequently to avoid burning.

For the Cornbread:
Follow instructions on your box and prepare while beans are baking.

For the beans:
While sauce is reducing, dice Pancetta then saute in a dutch oven until browned.  Dice shallots and garlic then add to Pancetta. Drain beans but do not rinse.  When shallots are translucent add beans and BBQ sauce.  Stir and let simmer with lid on for 10 minutes (stir occasionally).  When finished, place 10-12 ramekins on a cookie sheet then spoon in beans filling 3/4 to the top.  Bake  at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove beans from oven.  Pour cornbread mix on top of beans filling just below the brim of ramekins.  Place back in 400° oven for another 10-15 minutes (refer to your box’s instructions) or until golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Categories
Eat Inspire Sides

Red, White & Black Bean Salad

I cannot believe that the 4 of July is actually 4 days away. Well, really, it’s 3 days away because our community is celebrating the 4th of July on the 3rd of July which is Saturday rather than the 4th of July which falls on a Sunday. Don’t ask me why.

Are you confused?

Me too.

Welcome to my life.

Well , what I do know for sure is that it’s this weekend and that it’s just too soon.

Time just flies and I want to slow it down. But no matter how hard I try, it just seems to keep on marching along.

You see the 4th of July is a BIG DEAL here in suburbia. Friends and relatives, classmates and graduates, the old and the young, you name it, they all come home to celebrate the 4th of July here in our community. Every 4th of July or 3rd of July this year, the festivities begin with the traditional 6:30 a.m. bull horn wake up call that our Civic Association so dutifully carries out assigned by those that choose to pay for the experience. People set up their lawn chairs and rope off areas with signs to save their space on the parade route a week before the parade actually takes place.

I’m serious. It’s a sight to behold.

The red, white and blue stars that decorate the center of the streets are repainted diligently every… single… year.

After the parade, the entire community and all of those relatives, classmates, graduates etc. spend the day celebrating at the park with games, bicycle rides, food and reunions. This carries on until the other local park opens its’ doors for the evenings festivities. There are huge round tables covered in white tablecloths for friends and family to gather around and enjoy dinner and refreshments. There is a table centerpiece contest for those who choose to join in. And did I mention a band? Yes, there is also a band for your listening enjoyment until dusk when the attention turns to the skies for the fabulous fireworks display. Once again, this is all thanks to our fine UA Civic Association.

As I said before, the 4th of July is a very big deal.

Equally as important is the food.

Everyone feasts on fabulous fare all day long and while it’s not spoken out loud, the food that one prepares and shares is VERY IMPORTANT.

So this year I’ve decided to blow everyone away with my “Red, White & Black Bean” salad. I mean what could possibly be more all American than beans? Especially when pared with vegetables and fresh herbs? Not to mention beans are packed with protein and who doesn’t need an energy boost on a marathon day like the 4th of July?

Here’s the deal.

It’s easy as pie.

Don’t tell anyone though. Just proudly carry you salad into your celebration on your hip as your personal sacrifice to your country and assure your fans that they were indeed worth all of the trouble.

These are the simple and patriotic ingredients.

Black beans, cannellini beans, Roma tomatoes, green onions, red pepper, salsa, red wine vinegar and fresh cilantro.

The first thing that you want to do is drain and rinse the beans.

A bean bath if you will.

Next rinse the veggies and cilantro and get ready to chop.

Dice the red peppers.

Slice the green onions.

Look how pretty it’s looking all ready.

Dice the tomatoes.

Now chop the fresh cilantro.

Heavens does this smell like summer.

Put all of the ingredients in a big bowl.

Have you ever seen anything so lovely and all American?

Next the dressing.

We must dress the salad. Especially on the 4th of July.

Pour the red wine vinegar into the salsa and add a generous pinch of salt & pepper and mix.

Then pour the dressing all over the beans & veggies.

Gently toss and get ready to have a delightfully patriotic 4th (or 3rd in my case) of July.

I mean who can celebrate the 4th of July without a Red, White & Black Bean salad?

Not me.

And all of suburbia, that’s who.

Have a safe and delightful 4th of July!

Wenderly

Here’s the printable recipe:

Red White & Black Bean Salad
Adapted from Southern Living Cookbook
(Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1  (15-ounce) can cannellini beans rinsed & drained
  • 1 (15 ounce-can) black beans rinsed & drained
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Directions

Combine all vegetables and cilantro in a big bowl.

Mix salsa, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper and pour over vegetables.

Gently toss & enjoy!