Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bean Dish

Not a very exciting name, for sure. I'll give you a little history.

I learned to cook in 2002, when I realized I was fat, started on Weight Watchers, and realized that it was easier to know what was in my food if I actually cooked it. I learned a lot about cooking from the Food Network. About a year or so later, I decided to try a cooking class. I showed up for a class one night, not realizing how lucky I was. I guess this class always filled up.

It was a reasonable price. $5 per class. Unlike some "demonstration" classes, this was "participation". It was called Family Favorite Dinners and the teacher was Dan Feeney. I took the class for a couple of years (yes, same class) because I loved the food and the people. But then, I gave birth. And budget cuts have recently caused the class fee to go way up.

Dan was the master of frugality. He chose what to cook each week by what was on sale. Even at $5 per person x 25 people x 10 classes, he managed to save up extra money to buy a grill after a few years.

This is one of my favorite Dan Feeney recipes. I think the last time I made this was the week I gave birth (I didn't realize it was going to be that way, my son was 2 weeks early). We ended up wasting about 1/2 of it, since I was in the hospital. So, it's been five years. The recipe calls for 5 cans of beans, but I substituted some dried. This picture is at the 1/2 way cooking point. It gets darker and more caramel-y the longer it cooks.

Bean dish:

1 cup dried small white beans, cooked: 0.60
1 cup dried black beans, cooked: 0.60
1 can kidney beans: 1.19
1 can baked beans: 1.49
2 small onions, diced: 0.40
4-8 slices bacon, fried and chopped (I microwave bacon): 1.49 (I buy the good stuff)

1 cup unpacked brown sugar (or less, I generally use less, and match the vinegar): 0.31 for 1/2 cup
1/2 to 1 cup apple cider vinegar: 0.25 for 1/2 cup
1 tsp dry mustard: 0.05
1/2 tsp garlic powder: 0.05
1 tsp salt (may need more if you use dried beans): 0.01

Total: $6.44 for 10 cups, or $0.64 per cup. I generally would eat 1/2 to 2/3 cup at a time.

Cook all the dried beans. Drain all beans except baked beans.

Mix sauce ingredients and simmer 20 min. Pour over beans. Mix in bacon and onions.

Cook on low several hours or on high for a few. Or you can bake it in the oven.

I have made this vegetarian without the bacon and it's still pretty delicious. And cheaper. :)


Biz said...

I am all over this, we love beans! But of course, I would leave out the stinky onions! :D

Joanne said...

That sounds like one AWESOME cooking class! I adore beans so I will definitely need to give this a shot!