Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Not Glamorous, Just Perennial Family Favorite What's a Cookout without the Beans?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Not Glamorous, Just Perennial Family Favorite What's a Cookout without the Beans?

Article excerpt

This year we are inundated with lists of "The 100 Best" of this or that of the millennium.

Unlikely to make the list but used every day are canned foods. This weekend, electric can openers (which may be tops on my list of the most useless inventions of the millennium) will be popping the tops off canned baked beans.

What an invention. No longer do cooks have to slow bake the beans for hours. Simply, remove the top, plop the contentions into a baking dish and cook for a few minutes and they are done.

What's especially great about canned baked beans is that they serve as a starter for your own marvelous recipe. No one serves the beans as they come. Everyone adds another glob of molasses, a hefty helping of maple syrup or a scoop of brown sugar to make their beans special.

This year, Americans will eat more than 800 million pounds of baked beans. A recent survey found that 77 percent of people attending cookouts think of baked beans as a traditional barbecue staple.

But there is more to beans than a little pork and a pot.

Place refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough in a muffin pan and dab in some baked beans. Cook for a few minutes and you've got a new appetizer.

Need a quick dip? A can of beans, a package of cheese, a few jalapeno peppers and a microwave oven and, presto, there's a tasty treat.

Pizza is a family favorite, but have you ever thought of drained baked beans as a topping? Even more interesting is to add pineapple to the mix. Sounds different. Sounds strange. But it will be a picnic surprise that the kids will love.

BARBECUE BEAN AND PINEAPPLE PIZZA 1 10-ounce thin pre-baked pizza crust 1 16-ounce can barbecued baked beans, drained slightly 6 ounces (11/2 cups) shredded pizza cheese blend 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained well 1 small red or green pepper, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 425 degrees. …

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