Friday, April 16, 2010

Rick Bayless Barbecue Baked Beans

Late last year I checked out a cookbook from the library written by Rick Bayless and his daughter Lanie, Rick and Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventure. I loved what I saw when I flipped through it, and I ended up buying it on Amazon for $10. Pretty good deal I thought! It's not just Mexican recipes like most of his cookbooks, it covers other ethnic cuisines from places they have traveled as a family--Spain, Morocco, France, Thailand--and recipes from the barbecue restaurant Rick's family had when he was growing up. I'm so glad I thought of that section when I was looking for recipes to make for Brisketfest 2010.

Hickory House Barbecue Baked Beans
Copyright 2004, Rick and Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures

1/2 large green or red bell pepper, cut in small pieces
Two 15-ounce cans pinto beans or navy beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 to 3-1/2 cups home-cooked pinto or navy beans well seasoned with salt)
1 cup barbecue sauce, store bought or homemade
1/2 cup water or bean cooking liquid if using home-cooked beans
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 375.

In an 8-inch square baking pan, mix together everything except Worcestershire sauce. Stir well to dissolve sugar completely. Dribble Worcestershire over top. Bake until slightly thickened, glazed and browned on top, and bubbling vigorously around the edges, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool slightly before serving.


I have never been a fan of baked beans, except for a recipe my friend Rebecca makes that has bacon and bacon drippings in it. Who wouldn't like that?! Okay, maybe a vegetarian, but even then I think they'd secretly enjoy it (if they weren't getting sick from it). I figured I have yet to be disappointed by a Rick Bayless recipe, so I was hoping this would turn me on to baked beans.

Man alive, did it ever!! These beans are amazing--so easy to put together, so full of taste and flavor. Yum!! I much prefer making these from just plain pinto beans instead of doctoring up a can of baked beans. This is definitely my go-to baked beans recipe now, and I may even start putting it in my meal plans as a side dish!

Beans ready to be thrown into oven (or gently placed, rather, so they didn't spill everywhere):

Finished product...sorry it's so blurry!


The Meal Planner said...

I tried these last week and they were so yummy. It was a day of firsts for me: first time making homemade BBQ sauce, first time soaking and cooking the beans myself, and first time eating Baked Beans from scratch. So Good! I think my favorite discovery from it all was that homemade BBQ sauce. It really is better than anything store bought. I did a blind taste test with my husband using a couple different BBQ sauces from the fridge and this outranked them all. When you compare them the store bought ones have an element of "fakeness" to them.

Anyways, the batch of beans was way to big for our family to eat up, so I tossed them into a pot of chili in place of usual canned beans and it made a mighty fine chili! It had a really great sweetness to it that is excellent if you add some extra spice or even some smokiness with chipotle. The sweet and spicy combo is a winner.

I've never tried any of Rick Bayless's recipes before, but all your ravings about him and the recipes you've posted makes me want to get one of his cookbooks from the library. Thanks!

vitual kappas said...

Claire, please keep this up. You are doing a terrific job.