It was a cold and blustery fall day and that means Comfort Food. I always turn to beans on these kind of days; usually red beans and rice or chili; but today I wanted to do something different. As anyone who knows me well will agree, that means I just start with a theme and begin throwing things in the pot. This Cajun bean soup is what I ended up with. I served it over rice and it was delicious.
I started by cutting up 6 slices of bacon and throwing them in the bottom of the crock-pot. Yep, raw. On top of that I threw a pound of cut up smoked beef sausage. Then I diced up a green bell pepper and an onion and threw them in. Next was 3 pints of home canned navy beans (store bought 15 oz cans would work, drain them first.) Then I added 2 jars of home canned tomato sauce and sprinkled some Cajun seasoning over the whole thing. I let it cook on low for about 6 hours before I stirred it so the bacon would cook. We ate it after 8 hours of cooking and it was heavenly.
Along with the soup I served Copper Alley corn muffins; a recipe I “stole” from a restaurant I cooked at 25 years ago. Those muffins were so amazing…..
My introduction to these corn muffins was during a visit to Mankato, MN to check out the Food and Nutrition program at the university. I stopped at a restaurant in the mall for lunch and ordered the “muffin and veggie” plate, which consisted of freshly steamed veggies with warm cheese dipping sauce and a giant corn muffin. It was the BEST MUFFIN I'VE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE. When I paid for my meal I told the manager how much I loved that muffin. I may have gushed. And I told him I had 6 years of restaurant cooking experience and would be moving to town for school and could I work there, PLEASE! He said to come see him when I moved. I did, and I worked there until I graduated from college….and three times a week I mixed up a 5 gallon pail of muffin mix for these giant muffins, so the recipe sort of got stuck in my head.
I’m guessing you don’t want a recipe for 5 gallons of muffin batter, that makes a LOT of muffins. So, I made it smaller. This recipe makes 1 dozen regular size or 6 giant muffins.
Copper Alley Corn Muffins
2 eggs, separated
1 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar
8 oz sour cream
1 t vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Whip the egg whites and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg yolks. Add the sour cream, vanilla, flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda and beat until smooth. Fold in the egg whites until just barely combined and spoon into cupcake papers. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
I finished off the meal with some Pumpkin Spice Bars and cream cheese frosting.
Don’t get excited, it’s a box mix. We have Really Big Mice too.