BBQ Baked Beans

by Susan on June 21, 2017

bbq baked beans

My son and I are huge Food Network Star fans; while we’re enjoying the current season, I’m not sure we have a favorite contender yet. We both loved Eddie Jackson when he competed a couple of seasons ago, so when I came up his take on this classic dish I just had to try it. What better time to make it than on the first full day of summer?

This one is easy to make as it doesn’t require dried beans, but you do have to allow enough time for it to bake for the flavors to really marry. Since you’re using canned pork and beans, definitely seek out a healthy variety. I used the Pacific brand, which is completely organic. A lot of conventional varieties use high fructose corn syrup for sweetness, caramel color and artificial flavors.

I added a chopped bell pepper to the recipe to boost the nutrition, and went with Annie’s organic BBQ sauce to keep it clean and a bit lower in sugar.

This smelled heavenly while it was in the oven! Both kids kept asking when it was time for dinner. Served up with a big green salad it was just the meal to usher in summer.

As written this recipe is gluten and dairy-free.

BBQ Baked Beans
adapted from Eddie Jackson

4 strips thick-cut nitrite-free bacon
1 small chopped white onion (about 11/4 cups)
3 (15-oz.) cans organic pork and beans
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs.  yellow mustard
1 tbs. palm sugar
2 tsp. barbecue seasoning or rub
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until just before it becomes crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon, and drain on plate lined with paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Set bacon aside to cool.
Add onion to hot drippings in skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are nice and tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir together cooked onions, pork and beans, barbecue sauce, vinegar, mustard, sugar, barbecue rub, oil and salt in a lightly greased 2-quart casserole dish. Finely chop drained bacon; spread evenly over top of bean mixture.
Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven until slightly reduced and bubbly, about 11/2 hours.

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Kebabs

by Susan on June 19, 2017

I happened upon this clever kebab recipe on the Food Network recipe and simply had to try it. Grilled cheese WITHOUT BREAD? Genius. Coupled with the fact that prosciutto and tomatoes were involved in the equation, I figured this one would be a guaranteed hit with the family.

Unsurprisingly, I guessed correctly. I opted for using gouda as opposed to fontina, but otherwise stuck to the recipe as written. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the cheese wasn’t too hard to wrap and skewer. I had some chicken left over but not enough prosciutto, so I made one kebab using bacon. I’d definitely suggest sticking to the prosciutto, as it’s much better to use a thin meat that grills up nice and crisp.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Kebabs
adapted from Food Network

2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 24 pieces (about 1 1/2 inches each)
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of sea salt
4 oz. fontina or gouda cheese, cut into 24 cubes (about 1/2 inch each)
24 thin slices prosciutto (about 6 ounces)
1 pint grape tomatoes

Preheat a greased grill to medium high. Toss the chicken with the olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in a large bowl. Place a cheese cube on a piece of chicken and wrap tightly with a slice of prosciutto. Repeat with the remaining cheese, chicken and prosciutto.

Thread the chicken bundles onto eight 10-inch skewers along with the tomatoes. Grill the kebabs, covered, turning occasionally, until the prosciutto is crisp and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

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