Posted by: Hil | October 26, 2008

Inaugural Dinner


Tonight was our very first dinner at our new table!  I made Thanksgiving cannelini beans and swiss chard two ways.


The chard on the bottom left is sauteed chard leaves leftover from this morning.  The bottom right are baked swiss chard stems with parmesan, recipe courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen.  Kalyn suggests parboiling the stems first, but I microwaved them for three minutes instead and that worked just fine.  Regardless, when you have parcooked the stems, you put them in a baking dish with a generous coating of grated parmesan and bake for 20 minutes at 400.

I call the bean dish Thanksgiving beans not because I serve them at Thanksgiving but because they taste like Thanksgiving to me.  I added all of my favorite Thanksgiving flavors to the dish: turkey, sage, onion, and sherry.  If the husband had allowed it, I would have added dried cranberries, too…that would have tasted amazing!

First, you need turkey.  (Actually, this would probably taste delicious either without turkey or with prosciutto as a substitute, but I had turkey bacon on hand.)  I cooked two slices of turkey bacon in a hot skillet, then set it aside to drain on paper towels.  Next, I added a bit of olive oil to the pan and cooked a quarter of an onion, finely minced, until it was just beginning to brown.  Then, I added a big handful of chopped sage and a couple cloves of minced garlic.  I didn’t want them to cook too much, but I wanted to give them a minute to flavor the oil before I added my cannellini beans.  Next, in with a can of beans, drained and rinsed.   I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and then added a generous splash of sherry to the pan.  I love the deep, rich flavor that the sherry adds.  (Important note:  if you cook with sherry, cook with real sherry, not cooking sherry.  It’s not a matter of quality.  Cheap sherry works just fine in cooking.  But “cooking sherry” has tons of salt added to it.  It’s vile stuff that will ruin the seasoning of your dish.  Cook with the real stuff from the wine section.)  Once you’ve added the sherry, let the mixture cook until the alcohol has burned off and the beans are nice and hot.  At the very end, chop up your turkey bacon and stir it in.   Quick, flavorful and delicious.



  1. FABULOUS new table and dinner!

  2. I love the idea of these beans – do you think they would taste just fine without any meat added? Or would they need some sort of flavor substitute?

  3. BeeElle–I think they would taste just fine without the meat, although a bit more mellow. If you wanted to add a bit more punch, as I mentioned, I think cranberries would taste delicious.

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