Sunday, July 10, 2011

Baked Beans Recipe

I learned to cook from my mother. She was, and is, a wonderful teacher. She taught me well. By the time I was a teenager, I could cook (and clean up) an entire meal. When I was able to drive, I could go do the shopping by myself, too. So, why in the world am I finding it so difficult to cook for my family now? One word: staples.

No, not the metal kind. The keep-the-pantry-full, go-to-meal kind of staples. Hamburger meat, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, tomato sauce, pasta, frozen veggies, etc. I have always stocked my pantry with those things and many more and relied on them for cooking. Due to the food allergy diagnosis, much of that has flown out the window so I have to reconfigure this. One day at a time.

Today, that looks like baked beans. We need a good source of protein. Our go-tos were milk, cheese or peanut butter. Now, I don't know what it will be but beans are pretty good. Baked beans, though, was a new one for me. It was a hit. Most recipes call for canned pork and beans as the basis of the recipe or included bacon. Due to a pork allergy, those were not great for us. So I created my own. Here is what I did instead.


1 lb bag of dry pinto beans
2 T mustard*
3-5 T Worchestershire sauce*
1/2 - 3/4 C brown sugar*
Prepare your beans according to the package directions, omitting any salt. (I did the quick soak method - boil for 5 minutes, turn off heat and soak for 2 hours, simmer until tender.)

Place your beans in a large pot and add the mustard, W sauce, and brown sugar. Start with just a little of the brown sugar, mix it up really good, and taste. You may want more, you may not. I was probably a bit shy of the 1/2 C mark but I know some folks like their baked beans nice and sweet. Bake them next. Put them in the oven at 375 for about 25 or 30 minutes, just to let the flavors blend. I skipped baking them because I didn't want to heat up the house and wasn't going to use them for almost another 24 hours. I decided the flavors would blend well enough and they did. Serve these hot or cold. This makes a ton! We have a couple of containers in the freezer but all 3 of my children loved these beans.

*I just guessed at these amounts but like the results that I came up with. Feel free to adjust them to whatever suits your tastes.

If you try this, please let me know how it turns out. I welcome feedback. Things that I put down are trials that worked out (or maybe not) for me. Every recipe is open to interpretation and substitution. That is how something good becomes better. Enjoy!

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