Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quintessential Beantown(Boston) Baked Beans

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It seems that the slowly-baked beans was a favorite Boston(and whole of New England Area) dish since colonial days, when the city was "awash in molasses" due to its rum-producing role in the "triangular trade." Sugar cane harvested by slaves in the West Indies was shipped to Boston to be made into rum to be sent to West Africa to buy more slaves to send to the West Indies.There are probably a hundred ways to do this dish..but after experimenting in the kitchen I came up with a version that I like best.Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.
  • Red Kidney bean/Red Bean - 15-oz can or freshly pressure cooked
  • Onion - 1, small, diced
  • Carrot - 1/2, large, diced
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, grated or minced
  • Olive oil - 2 tsp
  • Molasses - 1/4 cup
  • Tomato Ketchup - 1/4 cup
  • Hot Sauce - 2 tbsp or less (skip this if using "HOT & SWEET" ketchup)
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - for taste
  • Cheddar Cheese - 1/8 cup, shredded
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the grated garlic. Fry for a minute.
  • Add the diced onions and carrots and fry till the onions are browned.
  • In a bowl, add the beans, ketchup, hot sauce(if using), molasses, salt and gently mix.
  • Remove the onion mixture from the stove and add to the bowl.
  • Divide the mixture into 2 ramekins and cover with an aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes with the top covered. Remove the foil and let it bake for another 30 minutes or so until it thickens.
  • Remove from the oven and add the cheddar cheese and mix.
  • Let it sit for 5 minutes prior to eating.
Makes 2 servings.

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