Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ginger Baked Beans

On my stove right now sit simmering, bubbling baking beans.  Last night I soaked a bag of pinto beans.  Today I added all of the extras -molasses, garlic, salt, a little ketchup and ginger.  Minced ginger is my secret ingredient.  It adds a sweet spice and an interesting flavor to a very simple dish.  I've made it a few times already this summer.  Once we put them on a salad.  The next time we put them beside a hot dog.  Today we will bring them to a going away party for a friend.  You can cook them with bacon if you are feeling up to it.  You could use tomato paste instead of ketchup.  In years past I always thought of these beans as too sweet and syrupy, but if you make them at home they can be just how you like.  


1lb dried pinto beans or any white bean.  
ketchup or tomato paste
2 or 3 cloves of garlic minced
tablespoon or so of minced ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and more to taste
a few grinds of pepper

If you can, soak a pound of beans overnight after bringing the water to a boil for a moment.  The next day strain and set aside some of the bean liquid until they are just barely covered.  Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.  Add 1/3 cup of molasses -more or less depending on your taste.  Add 3 tablespoons of ketchup or tomato paste, the garlic and ginger.  Let cook until the beans are tender -about 30-45 minutes.  Ina Garten says salting beans early can make them tough so I add it towards the end.  That's it really.  It can be tweaked forever but at some point they are good enough.  


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