So a couple of nights ago I was flipping through the channels and stopped on G4 which I'd never even heard of before. G4 is hosting "21 days of Bond" and was showing Thunderball. Young Sean Connery was steaming up the screen. He was so handsome, charming and debonair. Yes he was a womanizer, but somehow I forgive him that.
I am a huge James Bond fan. The first Bond film that I saw was Moonraker with Roger Moore. I’ve never forgotten the intimidating Jaws with his steel teeth.
I have two favorite Bonds, Roger Moore and Sean Connery. Daniel Craig is handsome, but I personally don't find him charming, as I do the Bonds of yesteryear.
Do you have a favorite James Bond movie, or a favorite Bond?
If you need me in the next couple of weeks, you will find me on my sofa, gazing at James Bond.
Red Bean Casserole may not be exactly the chic kind of meal that I imagine James Bond or any of the Bond Girls dining on. Actually I don’t imagine them eating anything called a casserole; all though they may dine on Cassoulet. But I may enjoy eating a nice big bowl of this healthy dinner in front of the TV while watching “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
What is Red Bean Casserole? It’s just one of those meals that I tossed together that turned out to taste amazing (toot, toot (that’s me tooting my own horn)). It’s kind of a mixture of creole and Spanish flavors. I made this a vegetarian dish and Billy didn’t miss the meat at all (which is not usual for him). You also could throw some kind of sausage, such as Kielbasa, chorizo, or maybe Andouille into the mix. Perhaps you would like to add some Octopussy (Sorry, that was bad, but can one speak of James Bond and not mention Octopussy?)
Here’s what you do.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
|Sweat the onions, celery and bell pepper (aka the Holy Trinity) in a large skillet.|
|When the vegetables have softened add the minced garlic and seasonings. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes just to get the rawness out of the garlic.|
|Add the drained kidney beans...|
|...Fire roasted tomatoes. If you don't have fire roasted, regular canned diced tomatoes will be fine.|
|Add the pimento stuffed olives too. These give a some fruitiness and saltiness to the dish. Simmer for about 10 minutes.|
|While the beans are simmering, get yourself a box of corn muffin mix. This one yields 6 to 8 muffins.|
|Whisk in some chili powder.|
|Then prepare the batter according to the box directions. My mix calls for an egg and some milk.|
|When the beans are through simmering, add a handful of chopped parsley for freshness.|
|Pour the red bean mixture into an 8 x 11 x 2 inch pan. You may use and 8 inch square pan, but it will be filled to the top so be sure to place it on a sheet pan before putting it into the oven.|
|Spread the corn muffin batter over the top. It's okay if it doesn't reach all the way to the sides.|
|Bake just until the muffin batter is cooked; this will take 15 to 18 minutes.|
|Allow the casserole to set for just a few minutes before cutting into it. This make 4 generous portions to serve with a salad.|
RED BEAN CASSEROLE
½ Medium onion, large dice
2 stalks Celery, large dice
½ Green bell pepper, large dice
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Oregano
1 ½ tsp. Chili powder, divided use
½ tsp. Paprika
¼ tsp. Garlic powder
Pinch Cayenne pepper
1-15 oz. can Red kidney beans, drained
1-14.5 oz. can Fire roasted diced tomatoes and juice
½ cup Green pimento stuffed olives, sliced
¼ cup Water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Flat leaf parsley, chopped
1-8.5 oz. package Corn muffin mix, plus whatever ingredients that mix calls for (I used “Jiffy”)
1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat sweat the onions, celery and green bell pepper.
3. When the vegetables have softened add the minced garlic, oregano, ½ tsp. of the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne to the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the rawness from the garlic.
4. Add the drained kidney beans, the fire roasted tomatoes and juice, sliced olives, water, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the flat leaf parsley.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the corn muffin mix according to the directions and stir in the remaining teaspoon of chili powder.
7. Pour the red bean mixture into an 8 x 11 x 2 inch pan (8 inch square will be fine too just be sure to place the dish on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven), and then pour the corn muffin batter evenly over the top.
8. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the muffin topping is cooked through.
9. Allow the casserole to set for a few minutes before serving.
Serve Red Bean Casserole with a salad.
*Note; a sausage such as Kielbasa, chorizo, or andouille would be a nice addition to this casserole as well. If you do add the sausage, however; the casserole will NOT fit into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch dish.