Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kidney Bean Casserole

This is a fabulous alternative to the usual baked beans. Our good friend Georgie Allison made it for a Quaile Family BBQ a long time ago and everyone absolutely LOVED it. I also made it for Marie's birthday and it received RAVE reviews. (even from people who "don't usually like to eat beans").It couldn't be simpler to make and it's SO tasty!!! like, REALLY delicious!

1 stick butter
2 tart apples, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 tsp. curry powder
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbs. vinegar
dash salt and pepper
2 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes, chopped up a bit
4 (15oz) cans kidney beans
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, melt butter. Add onions, peppers, apples, and curry powder. Saute until tender. Add brown sugar and give it a good stir. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Drain tomatoes well and add to bowl. Drain beans well, then add them to the bowl along with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Mix well.
Pour into a large casserole dish and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving.

This is a great dish for friends who choose not to eat meat or dairy. You can easily substitute oil for the butter.
The key to this dish is the curry. Usually when you say 'curry', people think of Indian cuisine, but it's totally different in this recipe. It goes so well with the sweetness of the brown sugar and apples, and people can't seem to put their finger on what that taste is. They say "is that cinnamon?" Come to think of it, I wonder what it would taste like if I were to substitute cinnamon for the curry....hmm.....I just might try that sometime!!!
For another variation, try adding other kinds of beans. Instead of adding all red kidney beans, add some white and black beans to make a tri color or 3 bean casserole (as pictured alongside the Crock Pot Pulled Pork).
This makes quite a bit which is perfect if you're cooking for a big gang, but if you only have a few mouths to feed, you can easily cut the recipe in half.

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