13 December 2009

The Cook Book Challenge - Week 4 : Beans

I have decided to take on a challenge hosted by Rilsta at My Food Trail Blog.  The challenge is 52 themes over 52 weeks using recipes from cook books I own.  I currently have over 100 cook books. I am guilty of buying them  with the intentions of cooking or baking from them but never got around to it.  It sits on the shelves doomed to be used only for decoration purposes.

Taking on this challenge means that I will finally cook fabulous and delicious recipes from these cookbooks and I can share them with you on this blog of mine.

Unfortunately I didn't join at the beginning at week 1.  It is now week 4 and this week's theme is beans.  I am still hoping to complete the first 3 weeks and blogging it. 

Week 4 : Beans 
Recipe : Home made baked beans on toast 
Cook Book : Gary Rhodes.  At the table.

I chose this recipe for the beans theme because this week has been a little cold in Melbourne and thought hot beans on toast will be tasty and comforting.  Hubby loves baked beans so much that he buys tins by the slab.  Making my own will be healthier for him than the beans that comes in a can.

I've changed the recipe a little, as I usually do. I chose white beans instead of the haricot beans.  It's larger and has a more meatier flavour and texture. You can use either canned or dried haricot beans.  Using the canned beans cuts the cooking time down by 2 hours.

350g white haricot beans, or
 2 x 400g cans of cooked white haricot beans.
4-6 thick slices of bread
butter, for spreading (optional)

For the sauce :
2 tbls olive oil
2 large shallots or 1 large onion,
   very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbls red wine vinegar  with water.  
1 tsp caster sugar
300ml passata
3-4 tomatoes, blanched and cut into 5mm dice
1-2 tbls bought ready made tomato ketchup
salt and pepper
150-300ml water or liquor from boiling beans.

Method :
If using dried beans, place beans, carrots, onion and celery in a saucepan covered with lots of water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, making sure the beans are always covered with water.  Once tender, drain in a colander and bake the cooking liquor.

Meanwhile make the sauce.  Warm the olive oil in a saucepan.  Add the chopped shallots or onions and garlic and cook for 6-7 minutes, without colouring, until softened.  Add the red wine vinegar and cook until almost dry.  Stir in the sugar before adding the passata and 150ml water or liquor from the beans.  Bring to the simmer for a further 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, adding the remaining tablespoon of ketchup for a stronger tomato finish, if preferred.

Add the cooked beans and tomato dice to the sauce.  Continue to simmer gently for a few minutes.  The sauce will begin to thicken.  To loosen, simply add the remaining 150ml of water or liquor.

Meanwhile, toast the bread, then butter it, if you wish.  Now spoon the beans on to the warm toasts and serve.

Serves 4.

I'm ready for next week's theme.

Bon Appetite,


/* */ Agnes said...

Welcome to the Challenge! I love home made baked beans but oddly don't like the canned version. Yours look yum!

/* */ Rilsta said...

What did hubby think of your home made baked bes compared to the tinned ones? These are definitely much healthier!

/* */ chitchatchomp@yahoo.com.au said...

welcome Cherrie - 100+ cookbooks....wow, I thought I had lots, but I'm not even close. Your dish looks great and much better than the tinned variety.

/* */
Anonymous said...

wow - thats a lotta cookbooks! Although, cant say I blame you! The home made baked beans look delish, particularly as I dont like canned ones, but love a home made version

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