Monday, December 7, 2009

Gluten Free Portuguese Bean Stew and Corny Cornbread

It's snowing here in Utah, and you know what that means. Well, maybe you don't. It means I start making soup and stew almost every night of the week. There's something about pulling out the LeCreuset and simmering something in it all day that makes me happy. It seems like every event I go to in the winter is a dinner where soups are served. We have a neighborhood Christmas party on Saturday. The menu? Chili and Cheesy Broccoli Soup. When my parents come over for Christmas Eve? Minestrone and Potato Soups. When my inlaws come to town, we all bring a crock pot of soup and some unlucky soul has to buy the drinks and soup bowls. They are definitely a holiday menu staple. And recipes for soups and stews seem to abound, but GOOD recipes are hard to come by. The first time I saw this recipe was on the show, "Ask Aida" on the Food Network. She did this whole show on stews and soups. I was keeping a running tally in my head, looking for things that were inevitably needing substitutions to make the dish gluten free. Guess what? The tally was a big fat zero. A fully gluten free dish, Merry Christmas to me. I love naturally occurring gluten free recipes. It's like a smiley face on the cable bill, isn't it? So, I think that Aida should get the credit and the internet traffic for this beautiful stew that she created, so check it out here. And by check it out, I mean get all the ingredients at the store and make it tonight. I used tomato sauce instead of tomato paste because I was out of it, and it still turns out beautifully. You won't be sorry.

I do, however have a little variation on the classic cornbread recipe for you to try. I love the sweet cornbread flavor with this stew, which is slightly spicy-sweet itself. The honey in the stew complements the flavor of the cornbread nicely. And the whole corn kernels give it a little more texture and gusto than regular cornbread. So yummy. We've had it five times this month since I tried these variations. I hope you like it, too.
Gluten Free Corny Cornbread

3/4 cup Quaker Cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup drained whole kernel sweet corn
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well. Mix wet ingredients together. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fold in corn. Pour into an 8x8 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Freezes well.
Happy eating!

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