Thursday, July 7, 2011

Coca Cola Molasses Baked Beans

I know I have already talking in detail about my obsession with Coca Cola. I literally drank it like water, not a good thing to do, so I kicked that habit. But oh how I miss a cold can of coke on a hot summer day. So every now and then, I like to add some coke into some of my recipes. It's like an old friend visiting, so delicious. Anyway, I made Coca Cola Cake last week, but I just couldn't get the idea of making Coca Cola Baked Beans out of my head for the 4th of July. Instead of adding in ketchup or BBQ sauce, I decided to reduce down some coke into a thick, syrupy molasses and add that to the baked beans, to give it a great molasses flavor. I think these baked beans turned out really great, the coke wasn't overpowering, but it definitely made you think to yourself, "What is that flavor I'm tasting... is that coke?" Yes, yes it is coke. Well, give this a try at your next BBQ or cookout. Enjoy :)
Coca Cola Baked Beans and Red, White, & Blue Potato Salad
Coca Cola Molasses Baked Beans 
For the Coca Cola Molasses:
5C Classic Coca Cola
1t Corn Starch

For the Baked Beans:
8 Slices of Thick Peppered Bacon, Halved
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
½ Roasted Red Pepper, Chopped
3 16oz Cans of Pork & Beans
1C Prepared Coca Cola Molasses
2T Brown Sugar (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
2t Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Hot Sauce & Grainy Mustard
½t Paprika, Onion Powder, Cajun Seasoning & Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
1. To Make the Coca Cola Molasses: In a large, uncovered saucepan, heat coca-cola medium-high heat until the juice simmers. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer for about an hour, or until the juice has a syrupy consistency, and has reduced to 1C. Pour into a bowl and whisk in the cornstarch, and then let cool completely (to thicken it slightly).
2. To Make the Beans: Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry the bacon in a large, deep sauté pan until bacon is partially cooked (and it has released about ¼C of the fat drippings). Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Add in the onions and red peppers to drippings and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, coca cola molasses, and remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Pour the flavored beans into a greased 13x9 baking dish. Top with bacon and a sprinkle of brown sugar, and then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is thick & syrupy, about one hour (depending on your oven). Let stand to thicken slightly. 
3. Serve wam. 

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