But my exposure to baked beans has really only been to the canned variety. I was particularly a fan of B&M. We used to drive past a B&M factory on our way to Maine every summer (I believe it's since closed down) and I would pretty much drool.
Baked beans are no longer my favorite food. Hamburgers and chocolate have been knocked off the top tiers, as well. Of course that doesn't mean I still don't enjoy them; my taste buds have just matured to appreciate things that my 5-year-old self would stick her boogery nose up at. 5-year-old Mo would roll her eyes at being told that her nickname would be Carrot Girl in 6th grade. And she'd probably cry to know that people call her Mo now. But that's a boyyyyy's naaaaaaaaame!
5-year-old Mo wouldn't like these baked beans one bit. They're not sweet enough, she'd say. I don't like onions! Where's the baaaaaaaaconnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn?
My current self agrees with my younger self that this stuff could use a little bacon, but I feel it does quite fine without it. Little Mo is picky, picky, picky. Am noooooooooooooooooooot! And whiny.
I got this recipe from Moosewood. I had checked another Moosewood cookbook out ages ago and written down a recipe for baked beans that sounded absolutely delicious, and then I returned the book to the library. As luck would have it, I can't find the recipe for the life of me and just cleaned my room and am not about to tear it apart again looking for it. Better yet, the library from which I checked the book out is now undergoing construction and the internet didn't have it. So I found another recipe in one of our 4 other Moosewood cookbooks. It's not the same, but I trust Mollie with my tongue so I made it.
The recipe calls for 3 cups dried beans, which then you actually cook. However, I decided to be all frugal a couple weeks ago and cook up the TONS of dried beans we have. The bag below is some sort of white bean. Navy? I honestly don't know. The beans themselves are actually considerably older than I am, and the bags just said "white beans". So yeah, I just cooked them up, let them drain a bit and then froze them. And in case you're wondering, yes it took a very very very long time for the beans to cook.
Moving on, I estimated that 3 cups of dried would make about 9 cups of cooked beans, which ended up being this whole bag.
"Tart and Tangy Baked Beans"
(Recipe adapted by Mo from Moosewood Cookbook: New Revised Edition)
2 tbsp oil of choice
A pinch of asafoetida (optional, but makes beans less of a magical fruit if you catch my drift)
4 cups chopped onion
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1.5 tsp dried mustard powder
6-8 medium cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1.25 cups water
9 cups cooked white or pinto beans
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
Lots of black pepper
Crushed red pepper to taste (I forgot this)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 oz (2 small cans) tomato paste (only ingredient should be tomatoes)
1/4-1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
You forgot the bacon! :(
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in a large dutch oven over high or otherwise oven-proof pot, then add the asafoetida and onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the spices. Let that cook for a couple more minutes, then add the garlic, turning the heat down to medium. Cook for a couple more minutes. At this point there should be a crust at the bottom of the pot, but it should not be burnt and gross. 5-year-old and 16-year-old Mos alike do not like burnt stuff. Deglaze with the cider vinegar and water and kill the heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and the baaaaacon and mix well. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Then take the foil off and bake for 20 more minutes. Serve with bacon! as you like. This goes really well with greens. And bacon. :(
(Note: if you knew me as a kid, you'd realize how accurate a portrayal of me this post is. Actually, sometimes it's accurate of my behavior now. Sorry, Daddy.)