Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Baked Beans

Well hello there my foodie minions! I hope you've been enjoying the holiday numnums like I have! The holidays are a time for family, fun, and of course, food. As I pledged before, I have been diligently trying my best to keep a balanced diet through these times of gingerbread men and eggnog. I do, however, strongly believe in celebration, and Christmas is it my friends! Eating healthily through the holidays is quite a challenge, as I'm sure you know. The key, I think, is to reserve your most gluttonous eating tendencies for the actual holiday itself.  Eating your body weight in chocolate truffles on the days between just won't do!

Anyways, for the holidays, my family normally does the potluck thing- everyone contributes something yummy and we all gather together to enjoy. My sister had previously made these baked beans for another occasion, and I liked them so much that I had to try it for myself! I healthy-fied the recipe just a little bit but substituting some fatty ingredients for more healthy ones and tweaking little things here and there, but all in all my batch of baked beans turned out wonderfully (if I do say so myself)

Christmas (or whenever else) Baked Beans

You'll need:
6-8 slices turkey bacon
1 tbs olive oil 
1 large red onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 c red wine
1 can white kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
2/3 C ketchup
1/3 C molasses
1/4 C light brown sugar
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
salt and pepper

First, preheat the oven to 375ยบ. Get a cookie/baking sheet, line it with foil, and place a rack onto the prepared baking sheet. Then, put the bacon slices onto the rack and put them into the oven until they are toasty brown around the edges. I prefer to cook bacon this way for a few reasons. First of all, if any of you have ever been splattered by bacon grease, you simultaneously think HOW DARE YOU, YOU STUPID BACON!? and maybe this bacon is trying to say "don't eat me!!!!" Even if you don't specifically have this thought process, getting splattered by bacon sucks.. and it's just another thing on the stove that crowds up the place. So, moral of the story- roast the bacon! It's easy, normally pretty quick, and painless. When the bacon is done, remove it from the oven (but don't turn the oven off!) and set aside.

Next, chop the red onion into fairly small pieces. Once you've got that done, put a skillet onto the stove over medium heat and drizzle the olive oil into it while it heats up. When it is good and hot, cook the onions until they are soft and a little translucent. Remember to salt and pepper liberally at this point! About halfway through the onion cooking process add the red wine, mince the garlic clove, and add to the pan. You add the garlic halfway because (in my experience) it tends to burn quickly- and the flavor/smell of burnt garlic is not yum foodie foodie...

Once you've got the onion/garlic all done, remove the skillet from the heat and set is aside. Then, drain all the of cans of beans (except the baked beans) and place them into a dutch oven/oven-safe vessel. Then, add the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire, dijon, and liquid smoke... and mix it all up! Add the onion/garlic and add some pepper. Next, chop/crumble the bacon into small pieces and add it into the mix. Note: normally at this point I would tel you to "salt and pepper liberally" but the bacon that you've just added has a good amount of salt, so be careful not to oversalt! Give it one more good stir, cover, and stick it into the preheated oven.  Let the oven work its magic for at least 50 minutes, but you can leave it in there for as long as an hour and a half. My family and I prefer our baked beans to be a bit softer and "stewey", so we leave it in the oven a bit longer. It is, however, perfectly delicious after 50 minutes. Dish it out and enjoy!

I hope you all had a wonderful winter holiday! More foodie foodie to come.

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1 comment:

Wigglyfish said...

Yummmmm, these sound hearty and amazing. Another recipe to add to the list to try once I get my kitchen up and running ;)