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27.3.11

BAKED BEANS


These are fairly fast to prepare and certainly an improvement over canned pork and beans. Add a bit of smoked ham and it will be even better. If you use commercial chicken stock, make sure it is of good quality. Baked beans will not soften up in the oven; they are baked only to develop and to blend flavours. Baked beans have to be cooked on the stove and cooked very soft prior to “baking”; they cannot soften up in the oven, no matter how long you bake them. I prefer the flavour of small white beans; small white beans also cook faster. The recipe calls for only 1 cup of dry beans. This amount will feed Jim and me for two days. If you need larger servings or more people to feed, the recipe can be easily doubled. When reheating the following day add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, even water, just not tomato sauce, because the beans would have soaked up some of the sauce overnight.

1 cup white beans
4 cups chicken stock
4 bay leaves
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 whole black peppercorns
1 cup tomato sauce
2 fresh sage leaves
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 pinch of hot mustard
piece of smoked ham, optional
salt and black pepper to taste

• Cook the beans first.
• Rinse 1 cup of white beans*.
• Add 5 cups of water and bring to rapid boil.
• Boil for 5 minutes; remove from heat.
• Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
• Drain the soak water and rinse beans.
• Place the beans in a medium sized pot.
• Add 3 cups of chicken stock, 2 bay leaves, 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, and peppercorns.
• Cover the pot, bring to boil and gently simmer for 1 hour or until beans are very soft.
• Transfer the beans to an ovenproof casserole dish, reserving the cooking liquid.
• Preheat oven to 375F.
• Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 clove of garlic, and 2 sage and 2 bay leaves.
• Add 1/2 Tbsp of brown sugar and a pinch of hot mustard.
• Add enough cooking liquid to just reach the top of the beans.
• Add the smoked ham, if using.
• Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 1 hour.
• Adjust the salt and the pepper.

*Brown beans should be soaked overnight.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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