The epic battle I wage against the drudgery of dinner on a busy weeknight has many casualties and many chapters; sometimes I feel like Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings,” muddling my way through Middle Earth. If you ask me, pulling together a family meal on nights when there’s not a lot of time and not a lot left in the fridge should be a challenge on “Top Chef.” (They can start at my house.) Failing that, I look for solutions. One: I try to make bean casserole sexy. Two: I turn to savory bread puddings, like this one.
Cornbread and Bean Pudding
Note: Because I live in the South, I have easy access to leftover cornbread from various barbecue joints around my town. I also make cornbread a lot because I like it. The Trader Joe’s cornbread boxed mix is not bad, especially if you use buttermilk in place of plain. This dish is very forgiving; you can easily substitute slices of bread (crusts removed, cubed) for the cornbread, spinach or any other green you like for the arugula, and any kind of beans for the cannellinis.
4 cups day-old (or more) cornbread, crumbled
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups arugula, tightly packed
1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 X8 square pan. In a medium bowl, combine cornbread cubes, eggs, sour cream, arugula, and beans. Thoroughly combine. Pour into pan. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Serve garnished with avocado slices and grated cheddar cheese, if you like.