Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fake Baked Beans With Crispy Bacon

Fake Baked Beans With Crispy Bacon

While I was pregnant I had a very difficult time with food. That would explain how I actually lost weight while I was carrying Cash (except at the end when I was swollen to the size of a whale), and it would explain why I was pretty non-existent in the food-blog world. I couldn't stand up long enough to cook, and I couldn't eat anything without feeling sick ... the entire ten months. Yeah, fun, fun.

I could, however, read about food, and I did a lot of that. I especially fell in love with one particular writer's columns: Melissa Clark of The New York Times. I always check out the Times' Food Section copy, and of course I always read Mr. Bittman's column, but when I ran across Melissa's articles I was hooked. I love how she writes! She has the passion, that's obvious, much like Ruth Reichl does (and good lawd I love that woman, too!) I have now read everything by her in the Times' archives. That's a lot of tasty reading, folks.

Fake Baked Beans With Crispy Bacon

She is excellent at making you taste the food she's describing. She makes you want to travel and experience new flavors. And she is really, really good at making you crave things you normally don't care for - like these beans. I know that beans are good for me - fiber, low-fat, all that jazz - and I know I should eat more of them, but I have a tough time making myself do so. I mean, they're kind of pasty-tasting to me, and if there is one thing I don't like about certain foods, it's their pastiness.

Okay, okay, I admit it. This time? This time it was the bacon. I kind of think bacon is the new cupcakes. Bacon is in everything these days: cookies, ice cream, chocolate bars. While I adore bacon - it's always been one of my favorite foods - I'm not so keen on it in ... dessert. In baked beans, though? I'll be more than happy to give it a try.

So glad I did.

These are quick, easy and very flavorful baked beans. You very likely have all the ingredients in your pantry. And surprise! You can use canned white beans, like I did, and not have to go through all the trouble of sorting and soaking and cooking dry ones (but do that if you want to - I'm sure it would cut a lot of sodium out of the dish.)

It was really nice to have an inexpensive, almost-meat-free meal. (I mean, there was the bacon, but just a little of it!) Served with a hunk of hot cornbread on the side this was such an easy dish. The one thing that surprised me? These beans were even better the next day - in fact, I preferred them that way, and next time I make them I'm going to plan to eat them the day after! I'm no expert, but I'm sure that has something to do with the flavors melding and intensifying, which is exactly what happened. Yum.

Fake Baked Beans With Crispy Bacon

Melissa Clark's Fake Baked Beans with Crispy Bacon
(And here is it at the Times' Web site)