Cannellini Baked Beans

Over the holiday break, the girls were able to have some fun.  After a girls day out of museum hopping, lunch and the search for an illusive pair of boots, Mom, The Sis, and I returned home to find The Hubs smoking some pork butts in the retro cooker.    Honestly, I was a little tired.   I was running low on food supplies.  I did not want to run to the grocery store.

The Sis suggested baked beans as an easy side.   Not having any pinto beans or black beans in the pantry, we decided to improvise.  For some reason I had lots of white beans on the shelf.

cannellini Baked beans from Elliot's Eats

I started with Giada De Laurentiis‘ Italian-Style Baked Beans as a jumping off point.   As The Sis was chopping, tasting and stirring, she added a few variations.  (As did I.)

cannellini beans from Eliot's Eats

This is a half-batch and it fit nicely in a #3 cast iron skillet.


The Cannellini beans make this so rich and creamy.

Cannellini Baked Beans
based on Italian-Style Baked Beans

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 c. beer
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. Tomato paste
1/8 c. balsamic
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 (14 oz. ) cans cannellini beans (or white navy beans), partially drained
1/4 t. fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large cast iron pan, fry bacon until just beginning to crisp, about 5-6 minutes.   Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft.

Add beer, brown sugar, tomato paste, balsamic, Dijon, and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir and add beans and thyme.   Bring to a simmer.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 35-40  minutes.

cannellini beans from Eliot's Eats

Serve right out of the hot pan but be careful.

I baked the full-batch recipe in my cast iron “chicken cooker” which is basically a deep-sided skillet.

cannellini beans from Eliot's Eats


All the nephews were starving when we served dinner so there was not time for pictures.  I did whip up a batch just for two later with a half recipe and served them in smaller cast-iron cookware.

One of the Warhols from the exhibition.

One of the Warhols from the exhibition, In Living Color at Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK  (Click on picture for more details.)

For the aforementioned girls day out, we visited the exhibit “In Living Color” at Philbrook.   I love Warhol and his poppy and edgy colors, but we were able to see some other artists in this exhibition like Richard Diebenkorn, Chuck Close, Edward Ruscha, and Keith Haring.   (Interestingly enough, I was just reading about Chuck Close in the upcoming Cook the Books selection, A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White.   The majority of the book is set in the late 80s in NYC; hence the pop art and 80s celebrity allusions.)

We then had lunch at Laffa.  I love their mezze platters and the Brady Salad (delcious falalef balls on a bed of spring greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, “dukkah” nuts marinated cauliflower, asparagus & goat cheese. drizzled with a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette).   I don’t know what I adore more, the falalef, the cauliflower, or the vinaigrette.

Doel Reed

From the Doel Reed exhibit at Philbrook Downtown, Tulsa, OK (Click on the picture for more information.)

After lunch, we walked to Philbrook Downtown and saw two really interesting exhibits, one featuring Doel Reed.  We had only recently been introduced to his work at the Harwood Museum in Taos.  Reed has both NM and Oklahoma connections.  (He was an early art professor at OSU.)


Street Artist Thomas “Breeze” Marcus (Click on picture for more information.)


“Off the Wall,” works by street artist Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, was also on display, including a commissioned mural and some funky and artfully re-purposed vinyl.

We couldn’t help but pop into 108 Contemporary which had recently been knit bombed.

108 Contemporary after knit bombing.

108 Contemporary after knit bombing.

As for the Frye boots my sister was searching for, that was a bust.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little art adventure and my postings about our food from our after-Christmas feasting.

Stay tuned for the final installment:  “Superbowl” Sandwiches.  (I am going to do my best to get this up before the Super Bowl!)



12 comments to Cannellini Baked Beans