A pandowdy to fill and satisfy on a winter’s eve

By Jim Bailey

A little bit of the famous “cut-in” crust of a New England Pandowdy, but with the substantial heartiness of a cobbler topping makes this a filling meal.

Quick, simple and with loads of flavor, this dish reminds me of a Minnesotan Hot Pot.

Quick Biscuit Topping, recipe below
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained *
8 ounces smoked ham, diced
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
2-3 tablespoons heavy, light or half-and-half cream

For the Quick Biscuit Topping:

Combine 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, mixing well.

Add 4 tablespoons cold butter or margarine and rub it in with your fingertips so that the butter feels and looks like little pebbles.

Add 3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Incorporate everything evenly and empty out onto a well-floured work surface.

Knead for a couple minutes until no longer sticky and roll it out large enough to cover the 2 quart baking dish you will be using in this recipe.

Brush cream over the top and leave on counter while continuing with recipe.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add peppers and onions, stirring well. Cook 2 minutes.

Add pinto beans, ham, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and cream-style corn, blending well.

Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish and bake 20 minutes.

Slice rack out from oven and lift prepared biscuit topping to place on casserole, cream-brushed side facing up. Return rack and continue baking until biscuit is browned, another 20 minutes.

Remove from oven to cut biscuit topping into casserole. Serve hot.

* Any type of beans works great here, especially lima.

Makes 4 good-sized servings

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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