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How to jazz up baked beans

publication date: Jan 16, 2012
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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Despite the title of this website and books I have nothing against baked beans. They’re a good wholesome food which provides protein, fibre and some useful minerals like iron. But you could occasionally ring the changes . . .

Chilli baked beans
Serves 1

1 tbsp oil
1/2 a medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
1/2 a red pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips or a handful of frozen peppers
1 -1 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder or 1 tsp paprika
Half a 400g tin of baked beans

Heat the oil in a saucepan or small frying pan and fry the onion over a moderately high heat for about 5 minutes until it begins to brown at the edges. Turn the heat down a bit and add the garlic, if using, and peppers. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add chilli power and beans, stir and cook for another couple of minutes until heated through, adding a little water if the sauce seems too thick. Good with wholemeal toast, sausages or a baked potato

What to do with the other half of the tin:

* Curry beans
Fry a small or 1/2 a medium onion as described above, add a clove of crushed garlic and 1/2 - 1 tsp curry paste. Tip in half a can of beans and heat through. Add a squeeze of lemon and a heaped tbsp of chopped fresh coriander or a handful of finely shredded fresh spinach leaves if you have some. (Or some frozen leaf spinach, cooked, well drained and squeezed dry). Serve with rice.

* Baked bean and bacon melt
Cut up 4 streaky bacon rashers into pieces and fry them in 1 tbsp of oil until almost crisp. Drain off the fat and add the beans. Make a slice of wholemeal toast and butter lightly. Once the beans are hot season with black pepper and scatter over a handful of grated strong cheddar (about 25-30g).  Once the cheese starts melting into the beans spoon them over the toast. To add some extra zip top with finely sliced spring onions or sliced fresh or preserved jalepeno chillies (de-seeded if fresh).


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