I am delighted to introduce the wonderful Ele this week who has not one fab cookery blog but three! Ele is a 26-year-old ex-fashion designer who is passionate about all things related to design, green issues and food. Originally from Canada, she moved to the UK three years ago and now lives in London where she writes and edits her blogs. Kitchenist is her personal cooking blog where she shares her recipes, Kitchenisms is a design blog covering all things kitchen-related, and Kitchlit is a cookbook review blog.
This week Ele is sharing with us her recipe for Slow-Baked Beans with Maple Syrup. To me it is Autumn in a bowl – yummy, comforting and nurturing. Go on whip up a batch to warm you from within on those drizzly chilly days that are now upon us.
This is a great recipe for Autumn, full of sweet, caramelized flavours with just a hint of spice. It takes some time to prepare but makes a big pot, and the leftovers keep and freeze well. This is wonderful as part of a full breakfast, or as a side dish with dinner. I also love the leftovers for lunch; spread on toast, topped with cheddar and popped under the grill for a minute. This recipe is vegetarian but can easily be made vegan by subbing a neutral oil for the butter. – Ele
Ele’s Slow-Baked Beans with Maple Syrup
Ingredients Serves 8 as a side
270g dried pinto beans
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 celery sticks, halved lengthwise and chopped
2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and chopped
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. crushed dried chilies
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. sea salt [or one of regular fine salt]
1. First, prepare the beans: put them into a large saucepan and cover with two inches of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil and let cook for two minutes, then take the beans off the heat, cover, and leave to soak for two hours.
2. After the two hours, bring the beans in their soaking liquid to a gentle simmer, and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Taste a bean every so often, and add a teaspoon of salt when the beans begin to soften. They are done when they are tender but intact; at this point, remove them from the heat, drain, rinse and set aside.
3. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
4. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large, oven-safe saucepan that has a lid (I use a cast-iron Dutch oven for this). When the butter foams, add the onions, celery and carrots and stir to coat everything. Cover, turn the heat down to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 or so. The onions will become very soft and and golden and begin to break down, but shouldn’t stick or brown.
5. Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients, and pour over enough water to just cover everything (about one cup). Put the lid on the pot, transfer it to the oven, and let cook for two hours.
6. Check after the first hour, and periodically thereafter, to make sure that the mixture hasn’t gotten too dry [just add some water if it does]. Let cool for at least 20 minutes if serving immediately- this will be very hot!
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at email@example.com