It sounds strange, but believe it or not, you can make baked beans in less than an hour. Sometimes, necessity is the mother of invention, even if it seems like a hill of beans.
This last Sunday, Writer Girl and I faced Sunday dinner alone. Neither of us were feeling well – her head hurt from staying up too late reading; my butt hurt from falling on the kitchen floor – so we left church meetings early and didn't attend the “Souper Sunday” soup eating get together afterwards. With the rest of the family eating Church soup, we had to fend for our injured selves. What were a couple of people, who ached on either end, to do for a quick Sunday dinner?
Now, don't hate me because I'm lazy. Instead of creating a big meal, which neither of us were up for, I combined two side dishes, a semi-protein and a dressed up vegetable, and called it good. We could butter up a roll or something if we really wanted some carbs. Which I did later, by the way.
The first was a quick version of Boston Baked Beans. I like baked beans, but I don't like how long they take to make. We had a bunch of canned “pork and beans” in our pantry, so I came up with this.
Measuring cups and spoons
Casserole or other baking dish
2 (two) 16 oz. cans, pork and beans
1/2 pound bacon, chopped into small peices
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash of salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Preheat he oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until nicely crisp. You may need to do this in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Drain on paper towels.
Mix the bacon with everything else, except the cheese, in a casserole or baking dish.
Yes, Virginia. Take the beans out of the can first. We don't want the cans, just the contents.
Don't bother using a mixing bowl. It only dirties an extra dish, and who needs that? Not me. Spread the mixture around so it's smooth on top.
Bake, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. Remove from the oven and adjust the salt and pepper, adding more if needed. Sprinkle the cheese, if using, evenly over the top. Let it cool for 5 or ten minutes, melting the cheese, and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on what you're using it for.
If the canned pork and beans have quit a bit of liquid, drain some of it off before putting it in the casserole. To be honest, I don't know if these were the exact measurements or not. I was measuring by eyeball the whole time.
Photo by Daniel West