Saturday 13 September 2014

Savoury Bean Bake - a Random Recipe

This month's Random Recipes is a straightforward random book, random page challenge. And the book my random number took me to was the second recipe book I ever got, bought for me using Mum's cigarette coupons, back in 1969 - Cookery in Colour by Marguerite Patten. Little did Mum know she was starting me off on a habit for life - and I don't mean smoking. My house is gradually being taken over by recipe books!

I opened it at random (cheating really, I know the book so well that I knew I'd  be opening it somewhere in the vegetable section) and came to a page with 6 recipes on it. I could have happily, and nostalgically, made any of them (except perhaps the one whose ingredients were simply a tin of asparagus, a tin of condensed chicken soup and four boiled eggs - I do have standards, you know) but Savoury Bean Bake was one for which I already had all the ingredients to hand, so I chose that.

It is simply a mixture of tinned baked beans, fried onions, chopped boiled eggs and grated cheese, topped with more cheese and breadcrumbs and baked. Not the kind of thing I'd usually use a recipe for, more the kind of thing I'd make up as  I went along on a "using up odds and ends" day. But I'm a good girl, I follow the rules, so I assembled all the ingredients, including
2 tomatoes, skinned
Then I read the method. Those tomatoes, all skinned and slithery in my hands, were  not mentioned anywhere. They're there in the ingredients, but after that they are redundant. Should they be chopped and added to the beans? Sliced and  added as a separate layer? Baked as a side dish? Discarded completely? Oh, Ms Patten, I thought you were infallible! I've been using your book for 45 years, I'd never dream of using any other recipe for blancmange, flapjack or sage and onion stuffing, but this time you've really left me holding the tomatoes!

I took an executive decision to chop them and add them to the mixture, which by now was looking decidedly like sick.

It looked a bit better by the time it was in the gratin  dish:

And a LOT better by the time it came out of the oven.

Naturally I served it with chips and peas, as a tribute to my  Mum. When I was growing up, every meal was served with chips and peas with the exception of Sunday Roast, Christmas Dinner and that well known dish, A Salad. (And on those occasions Dad would complain "Where's the chips?"). Even "curry" (you know the dish,  minced beef, sultanas, apples and a pinch of stale curry powder) was served with rice, chips and peas.

The verdict? Fine, but not really the kind of meal Mark and I often eat nowadays. But on a nostalgic day that had seen me eat prawn cocktail, complete with shredded iceberg lettuce, for lunch, it slotted in very nicely. And next time  I'm clearing out the fridge I'll have another idea for using up odds and ends. But I won't bother with a recipe next time.


Cheryl Pasquier said...

Not ingredients I'd have thought of combining but it looks very nice actually - I bet my kids would love it ! I hope you made Birds Trifle for dessert, to complete the retro experience ! :)

Unknown said...

This actually looks delicious. I'm a big fan of nostalgic meals like this. Chips with everything. Love that the recipe wasn't perfect too. Would hate for you to have another success !! Thanks so much for the brilliant entry x

shtamar said...

Is there a receipe in hand? It looks like the perfect comfort food.

Jane Willis said...

Obviously I can't publish the original recipe for copyright reasons but It really doesn't need one - just mix tinned baked beans, fried onions, chopped boiled eggs and grated cheese with a couple of chopped tomatoes, top it with breadcrumbs mixed with grated cheese and bake it.

Susan Lindquist said...

LOL! Brought a smile to my face! All these old 60's recipes are either really 'campy chic' or so 'middle class and right from the cupboards'! You gotta love a 'sling it together' recipe! My dad always called recipes like this bean bake 'slumgullion'. I've often wondered where he got the term, but it seemed to fit the totally informal make-up of my Mom's casserole-type inventions! She didn't follow cook book recipes too closely either!

Fiver Feeds said...

Really looks delicious! Chips is always good to add with something like this but even without adding it, it's still a great meal.