Fast-forward to adulthood and this guy still loves his beans and really loves them with a good BBQ or tailgate. Seriously every BBQ needs side dishes. And we need to get past the standard cole slaw or potato salad. If you have a love of beans you too need to expand past the can opener and Bush Beans.
This spring and summer at BBQs and tailgates I have been experimenting with my own bean recipes. Prior to dissing the canned baked beans I researched tips for making the beans be all they can be. According to those with the bean knowledge…
- Getting Soft Skins: Overnight soak the dried beans. The soaking results in cooked beans that are more tender.
- Keeping the Skins Intact: Keeping the bean skins intact allows the beans to keep their shape during the baking process. To keep the skins intact you have to limit the times that you stir the beans during cooking. Also, it is equally as important to not boil or simmer the beans too vigorously.
- Taste a Mouthful: To confirm that you beans are done, don’t stop your tasting at 1-2 beans. Instead taste approximately 5-10 beans. Despite the beans being the same kind of beans and looking to be the same size, beans cook at different rates. Tasting a larger number of beans will assure that the entire batch of beans are cooked to your liking.
- Sit the Beans: Beans are like mini-sponges so let the cooked beans sit overnight to absorb as much flavor as possible.
My favorite bean recipe that I have tried is the Spicy Red-Eye Baked Beans. Just as the recipe says the ingedient of coffee heightens the other recipe flavors!