I bought bourbon for the first time. I wasn't sure what kind to buy, but chose the Jim Beam because I recognized the name and it was on sale.
and then I made the most awesome baked beans known to man.
I checked with Shirley--- distilled alcohol is gluten free, yet some people react to anything made with grains. If you know you react, this might not be a good recipe for you. Here's a bit more on that from Shirley, at Gluten Free Easily.
serves 8-10 as a side dish, 4-6 as main course
1 pound pinto beans, soaked overnight and then drained and rinsed
* SEE NOTE BELOW
(if you don't have time to soak overnight, no problem. Put them in a large pot, and cover completely
with water. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes, then turn off stove and cover pot. Let your beans sit
for 1 hour, then drain water and put beans into crockpot)
8 ounces bacon, cooked, crumbled, and drained
1 onion, diced and browned
4-6 cloves garlic, diced and browned
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce (read labels carefully if avoiding gluten)
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon ground mustard
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup bourbon
* NOTE: pinto beans sometimes seem to take a super long time to soften. If cooking on low for up to 14 hours is too long for you (or 8-10 on high) then try using small white Northern beans instead; they soften faster!)
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. In a large skillet on the stovetop (or use your Ninja!) brown the bacon, onion, and garlic until the bacon is crisp and the fat has been rendered. Discard the fat, and pour the bacon mixture into an empty slow cooker.
Add the soaked and drained pinto beans. Now add the brown sugar, molasses, barbecue sauce, and dried ground mustard. Stir in chicken broth and bourbon.
Cover, and cook on low for 10-14 hours, or until beans are soft. If you live in a high-altitude, your beans may take longer to cook. If you prefer to cook on high, check after 6 hours or so.
I served our beans with homemade corn bread made from masa.
This is the recipe I used:
Preheat oven to 425° and lightly butter a cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine:
1 1/2 cups masa
1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use Pamela's Baking Mix as my gluten free all purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 stick melted butter (1/4 cup)
Mix the dry ingredients together until well-incorporated and the baking powder isn't clumpy. You can sift, if you'd like, but that's kind of a lot of work for a quick cornbread. I end up using my fingers sometimes to break up clumps.
Then mix in the wet ingredients --- use a fork or a whisk, no need to use a machine. Pour batter into pan -- it'll be quite thick, and you may need to shove it around to get it in place.
Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes.
These beans are perfect. I am SO looking forward to the next potluck --- they had tons of flavor and smelled absolutely amazing. All 5 of us licked our bowls clean. I'm really very pleased with this recipe, and I think you will be, too. If you don't want to use bacon, I bet a saved ham-bone/hock would be *perfect*.
The masa cornbread was an experiment. I didn't have cornmeal in the house and really wanted cornbread. This is quite tasty-- it's nowhere near as sweet as traditional cornbread and tastes "cornier" if that makes sense. This would be a more traditional flavor that the pioneers or Native Americans would have had.
at least that's what I told the kids.
a few announcements:
~ Ninja has *very generously* increased my cooking system package to now include the roasting kit, the baking kit, the mini warmer, the travel tote, free shipping, and a 5-year warranty for the Holiday season. This is the absolute best package deal available for the Ninja Cooking System and is better than the infomercial offering.
~ Amazon has my Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life book on sale. Make 2013 the best year yet by getting completely (and totally!) organized.
~ I'm going to be speaking next month at BlogHer PRO on pricing and proposals. I can not believe how much my life has changed ever since I made that silly resolution in 2008, and I am so very (very) thankful. I am always happy to share blogging info and what has/hasn't worked for me, and think this will be an extraordinary conference.
Have a wonderful day!!