I recently read that you’re supposed to throw out all of your spices and get new ones after a year or two because the flavors get “muddy.” Uh, ok, but who is going to pay for that? Spices are the most expensive thing on my shopping list. The reason I don’t cook with saffron is I can’t afford it.
Anyways, it got me thinking about how I need to use up some of the staples I keep around, just to make sure they stay fresh. And what I wanted to go through this time was my remaining dried white beans. And, I happened to be attracted by Everyday Food’s “Cooking with Beer” series of recipes…So, we get beer-baked white beans.
So delicious. They have a good tangy flavor and aren’t so heavy that I’m wishing I’d made them in the fall. Really awesome side dish. (If only I had the wherewithal to make a main dish this week…) recipe below
3 slices bacon, cut into 1-in. pieces
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey
1/2 sprig rosemary
1/2 pound dried white beans (like cannellini or Great Northern), picked over, soaked overnight, and drained
1 bottle Belgian-style white ale
7/8 cup chicken broth (ok, ok, the original recipe was bigger…but who wants to make a whole pound of beans for themselves?)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot with tight-fitting lid, cook bacon over medium until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp and browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Increase meat to medium-high and cook onion and garlic for about 4 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add mustard and honey and continue cooking for 1 minute. Then, add rosemary, beer, broth, and beans to pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven.
Bake until the beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 2 hours. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. To serve, stir in reserved bacon.
If you divide this into 3 meal-sized portions, you get 434 Calories per serving: 9 g fat, 23 g protein, 19 g fiber…but I’d recommend serving this as a side dish in smaller portions. They’re good, but not good enough to calorically justify eating as whole, bacon-filled servings.