- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New Year’s Eve celebrations, which last well beyond the eve, call for a special recipe on New Year’s Day.

If you’re partying until the early morning, maybe mixing too much champagne with too little sleep, you probably know what the combination can do to your equilibrium.

A piping hot dish of beans is a great restorative.

The dietary fiber in beans gives you a feeling of satiety, which is very appealing if you’ve been on the town and didn’t eat. Because canned beans are tasty and easy to use, you can prepare a bean dish in minutes, another virtue when you’re trying to reduce the symptoms of yesterday’s revelry.

I suspect that Southerners who serve bean recipe called Hoppin’ John as part of their new year tradition know this.

According to culinary lore, eating Hoppin’ John, a combination of black-eyed peas, rice, tomatoes and seasonings, brings good luck. And settling and filling your stomach on New Year’s Day is a good start. Be inspired to create your own bean dish.

Choose the variety garbanzo, kidney, pinto, black or navy that you like best. Add canned tomatoes, seasonings and a little fat, and feel the salutary effects.

The following bean dish is hot, sweet and delicious. You can make it a day in advance or just before serving. The recipe is equally good for brunch or dinner.

For dinner, pair the beans with coleslaw or steamed broccoli.

New Year’s beans

2 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 15-ounce can navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup Texas-style barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Fry bacon until crisp in medium-size deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Remove half the bacon and set aside for garnish. Add shallot to skillet and cook until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add navy beans, tomatoes, barbecue sauce, mustard, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the dish is hot and slightly thickened.

Sprinkle on reserved bacon bits. Makes 2 servings.


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