Classic Summer Recipes: Baked Beans and Deviled Eggs

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Classic Summer Recipes: Baked Beans

Happy Fourth of July! I don’t know what you’re doing this weekend, but I bet it involves food. There’s so much summer food to enjoy it’s hard to know where to start your holiday menu planning. This year I’ve chosen a couple of enduring summer favorites to feature at our sizzling Palm Springs holiday house party. Burgers and Ice Cream always make an appearance on this very American holiday. I’ve got several recipes for both of these must-haves on this blog. But there are other classic summer recipes I’ve neglected to bring to these pages and I’d like to correct that omission for this Independence Day celebration.

Starting with Deviled Eggs and Baked Beans. Both of these classic summer recipes have been seasonally appropriate longer than the rocket’s red glare has been blazing across our sunny suburban backyards.

Baked beans go all the way back to the Puritans of New England. I’m not sure if they knew they were starting a new country, but I’m quite sure they knew that aromatic beans and sweet pork would would feed Americans for generations to come.

Deviled eggs are a more modern national trend, and they’ve become a picnic staple since at least the beginning of the twentieth century.

Classic Summer Recipes

I think you’ll see I haven’t strayed too far from the expected in either of these versions. After all, the best of these classic summer recipes are time-tested. So I’ve kept the recipes familiar and simply emphasized their simplicity and fresh flavors by choosing the best whole food ingredients.

Classic Baked BeansBaked Beans: In the winter I actually bake my “baked” beans. In the summer however I find that this stove-top version takes half as long and doesn’t require turning on the oven. This recipe still has intense flavor from molasses and pork. It’s also just as thick and ruddy as its oven-baked counterpart – as good as American Baked Beans should be. It’s the Fourth of July after all, don’t settle for those soupy, bland beans the Brits serve on toast. The war is won! You don’t have to eat that stuff.

Deviled Eggs with Fresh HerbsDeviled Eggs: Deviled eggs can go in any direction you like. Creative versions show up on trendy restaurant menus. Home cooks (and quite a few bloggers) are inventing all sorts of devilish combinations. However, when the weather heats up I think we should all take it a bit easy and look to the roots of these classic summer recipes. To me “deviling” an egg usually means seasoning the cooked and mashed yolks with some mayo, grainy mustard and just a few herbs. Paprika makes them pretty, but it’s completely optional. This is how my mom made them in the 1970s. Except I’m fairly sure she used dried herbs. GREG

Classic Baked Beans (Shortcut Method)

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8-10Source Adapted from Melissa Clark and Martha StewartPublished

Yes I call this a “shortcut” method, but it’s still going to take you at least 5 hours so plan accordingly.

Classic Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 4 ounce thick cut bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 2 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 3 cup tomato juice
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)

Directions

Put beans in a large bowl; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Loosely cover beans with plastic wrap, and let soak at room temperature 7 to 10 hours. You can alternatively parboil the beans in water enough water to cover by 2 inches then cool in liquid 1 hour. Drain once cooled and set aside.

If you soaked the beans then drain them now; transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until beans are very tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid; set beans and liquid aside. If you did not soak them, then cover the parboiled and drained beans with enough water to top them by 2 inches. Simmer beans, partly covered, until just tender, about 1 to 2 hours depending upon age and size of beans; do not overcook.

Cut bacon crosswise into ½-inch slices. Transfer to a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving rendered fat in the pot. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beans, reserved bacon, and about 4 cups reserved cooking liquid.

In a medium bowl, mix together tomato juice, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, brown sugar, mustard powder, turmeric and cayenne pepper (if using). Pour mixture into beans and stir well.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover, and cook at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 1 hour. Uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, let cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 days. Reheat beans over medium-low heat before serving.

Classic Deviled Eggs with Fresh Herbs

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6-8Published

You will probably have extra yolk filling. I like to be generous because it makes the job of piping so much easier. You can save the extra to spread on toast with avocado.

Classic Deviled Eggs with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients

  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • ⅓ cup mayonaisse (I use a heaping ⅓-cup, but use your judgment)
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard (you can substitute a smooth mustard if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or any flavorful vinegar)
  • 3-4 teaspoon mixed minced fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, chives and chervil)
  • Kosher salt and white pepper (to taste)
  • paprika (to taste, optional)

Directions

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Put eggs in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring gently as water begins to boil. Once boiled turn the burner to very, very low. Simmer the eggs 10 minutes exactly. Transfer to ice-water bath to cool.

Peel eggs; halve lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks; set whites aside. Using the back of a spoon, push yolks through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Stir mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, mixed herbs into yolks. Season with a pinch each salt and white pepper.

Transfer yolk mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip with at least a ¼-inch opening. Pipe mixture into whites, filling to ½ inch over surface. Garnish with herb sprigs and a light sprinkle of paprika (optional).

Eggs can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 hours.