Tuesday, August 23, 2011

D's famous baked BBQ beans

We had our block part on Sunday. It's a neighborhood tradition that has carried on for an indeterminate amount of time, seeing as how no one rightly remembers when it began, nor does anyone care.

Starting about a month before the gathering, the organizer of said block party begins to send out terrorizing emails in an attempt to get everyone to agree upon a date when we can all get together and "enjoy each other's company" -- my phrase, purposely put in quotes, for reasons pertaining to sarcasm.

Once a date has been imposed upon the neighbors, said organizer then sends approximately 30 additional emails in an attempt to get everyone to tell him what dish they will be bringing to share. (Side note: One woman brought a dish she calls "More" -- "because everyone always wants more." As best I could tell it contained farfalle pasta, cheese, enchilada sauce and black olives. I did not want more of More. )

Early on I told the organizer I would bring beans and franks because I couldn't remember what my friend D calls his famous baked BBQ beans. The organizer hereafter referred to said BBQ beans as "beans and hot dogs." Which: Why he felt the need to paraphrase, I'm unsure. And: "beans and hot dogs" does not adequately describe the deliciousness that is D's famous BBQ beans. 

To summarize, the block party is really just a time for me to gather as much gossip about my neighbors as possible. For instance, which neighbor gave a couch to another neighbor and then demanded that the neighbor then give the couch back. Or which neighbor is having their bathrooms redone, and which neighbor is retiring in two months, and which neighbor is in recovery. (Side note: At one point a few months ago, a certain neighbor told me that another neighbor had died. A few days later I saw that same "dead" neighbor driving down the street. Neighborhood gossip is not always completely reliable.)

Most importantly, the block party is a time to eat. I may not have wanted more of "More," but I did want more of my "beans and hot dogs."

And you will, too. Here's how you make 'em. 

 For starters, you chop up a red pepper, an onion, and some garlic, and you throw them in a large oven proof skillet with some olive oil.

Soon after I did this, I realized I would eventually have to transfer the whole thing to a large oven proof dutch oven because it wouldn't all fit in my skillet. Which worked out fine.

Once you've sauteed that junk for a while, you throw in some chunks of andouille sausage, or as my neighbor likes to call 'em: hot dogs.

These are some chicken andouille sausages I picked up at Whole Foods. I squeezed them out of their casings rather than try to chop them up with the casings being as disgusting and stretchy as they are.

Once your chunks of sausage have sauteed with the veggies for a few minutes you can throw in the rest of the ingredients, like balsamic vinegar and BBQ sauce. This OrganicVille tangy BBQ sauce is a really tasty gluten-free version.

Other ingredients include a can of chopped tomatoes, a small can of diced green chilies and two cans of cannellini beans. Now, when I was at the store, I saw the one can of cannellini beans, and the rest of the beans were called great northern beans or white beans, so I just grabbed a can of the great northern beans. I have no idea if they're the same as cannellini beans but I'm happy to report they taste about the same.

 Here it all is mixed together in the pot I transferred everything to. I baked this mess for half an hour and then lugged it outside to the block party, where most of it got eaten up in a big hurry.

 I liked it so much I had a little more later on that night.


Here's the recipe!

D's Famous Baked BBQ Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 gloves garlic, chopped
4 links andouille sausage, chopped or squeezed into 1/2 inch pieces.
1 small can green chilies
2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounch can chopped tomatoes
1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375.

Heat oil over medium in a large ovenproof skillet (or pot). Add onions, peppers and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and saute 3 more minutes. Stir in tomatoes, green chilies, beans, barbecue sauce, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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