Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Baked Beans’

Beans-on-Toast

 

My mom was a first generation American of Scots parentage so I grew up eating a cheap and cheerful dish called beans on toast that is everyday fare throughout the once United Kingdom.  The original is simply spoonfuls of Heinz baked beans (now known as Heinz Beanz) dumped on a slice of brown bread.  Of course, over the years, cooks have devised their own versions so beans on toast can now mean many things from plain to fancy.  To be tried and true you should use Heinz Beanz, but if you have a favorite brand of canned baked beans do not hesitate to use them.  There are no real amounts to be given, just pile on as many beans as you like.  Steve, my dearest husband, loves my version which stays pretty close to the original with a few exceptions which are:
I toast the bread.
I coat the toast with strong mustard.
I warm the beans and let some of the juices cook off so they aren’t quite so sloppy before I pile them onto the toast.
I cover the beans with cheddar cheese.
If I have it, a fry a couple of slices of thick bacon until almost crisp.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Then:  I pile the beans on the mustard-coated toast, top with a few slices of cheese, criss-cross the bacon on top and place the toast on a cookie sheet in the preheated oven.  I bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bacon has crisped.  I serve it piping hot with mustard and crisp pickles on the side.  As the photo shows for this recent version no bacon was in the house.  I lie, I did have turkey bacon but that just didn’t seem to be right!

Read Full Post »

Beans_7810

This is just a little blurb about beans just because I think everyone should be eating more of them.  I recently met with a group of people who run a hospital kitchen and was appalled to learn that none of them ever cooked dried beans – because, they said, they didn’t really like beans, you had to think too far in advance, and so forth.  Just in case you are in the same boat, here’s what you do to have a pot of beans ready to do anything you want with them.
No matter that many contemporary chefs say you don’t need to do so, I say you do have to soak beans for at least 8 hours in cold water to cover.  So, the night before you want to cook them, soak the beans.  Drain well, recover with cold water, and place over high heat.  Bring to a boil; then, lower the heat and continue to cook, adding water as necessary, for about 90 minutes or until tender.  I absolutely hate “al dente” beans which seem to be the current vogue in hipster restaurants.  You can do lots of other chores while the beans cook.
Once the beans are tender, you can do anything you want.  Just season them to your liking and serve up a plate of rice and beans, a world-wide nutritional meal.  Or, add tomatoes and basil and all things Italian – make a cassoulet – soups – hummus – chili – salads –dips – pastas – as a base for meats and poultry and on and on and on.  Well, I admit I once wrote a book called The Rediscovered Bean, so if you need a recipe, just let me know.

Read Full Post »

 

I’ve decided that I want to do a lot of cooking for gift giving this coming holiday season so I have begun looking through some of my old cookbooks for “new” old ideas.  In my original Gift Giver’s Cookbook (written with my dear friend Jane Green and published in 1970) I found one of my mom’s most favorite breads for gift giving – Boston brown bread – or, at least her version of it.  I made it for years but then, like many favorite dishes, it fell off my radar and had been forgotten.  One of the reasons might have been my mom’s requirement that it be baked in gold-lined No. 303 cans.  I rarely use commercially canned products so no longer had any cans in which to bake it.  But I went on a scavenger hunt and came up with cans I thought would do but being of a cautious nature (well, sometimes) I also had some small loaf pans on hand when I made my first return batch.  The photo should give you a good idea of my failure to find the right cans – but, since for some reason the bread tastes better baked in the can, I’m going to keep trying to find the correct No. 303 can.  In the meantime, the loaves tasted pretty good, too.  This recipe should be enough to make 6 No. 303 cans or about 5 small loaf pans.

 

8 ounces dark raisins

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

4 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

 

Place the raisins in a heat-proof bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water.  Stir in the baking soda and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Combine the sugar, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle.  Beat on low to lighten.  Raise the speed to medium and beat until blended.

With the motor running, add the eggs, one at time, and beat to blend.  When well-blended, add the flour and salt and beat until well-incorporated.  Then, add the raisins along with their soaking water and beat to blend.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts.

Carefully scoop the mixture into the cans, filling each one about half full.  (If you are using loaf pans, either coat them with Baker’s Joy or butter and flour them).

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the breads begin to pull away from the sides of the cans.

Remove from the oven and place on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing the breads from the cans by running a small, sharp knife around the interior of the cans and then popping the breads out.

Serve warm or at room temperature with butter or cream cheese or alongside Boston Baked Beans.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: