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Baked Beans

Fooled you - it's not mac n cheese
This is NOT your regular idea of baked beans. First of all it uses white beans. There's bacon, there's garlic, there's olive oil soaked bread crumbs - what's not to like.

Baked Beans (Adapted from BonAppetit)
2 c dried navy, cannellini, or Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight*
2 onions, 1 cut in half, 1 thinly sliced
1 Parmesan rind
1 head of garlic, separated and 4 cloves minced
2 bay leaves
2t kosher salt
8 oz bacon, cut in 2" pieces
1 shallot
4 sprigs thyyme
1/4 c white wine
1 1/2 c torn bread into crumbs (about 2 slices)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil
salt/pepper

Drain beans and place in a heavy pot with halved onion, Parmesan rind head of garlic, bay leaves, and salt. Cover with water (about 2"). Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook until tender (about 1 -1 1/2 hours).

In a skillet cook bacon until browned. Set aside. Saute onion and thyme sprigs over low flame until caramelized. Add shallot and cook until starting to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add wine and cook until evaporated. Remove thyme sprigs. Season with salt/pepper

Drain beans but reserve cooking liquid. Mix beans with onion mixture. Place in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Add 1 1/2 - 2 c of reserved cooking liquid. You want it to look like a stew. In a small bowl add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil and mix until combined. Sprinkle over beans. Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes or until breadcrumbs brown. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

I served this as a main course with a side salad. I thought it would be a good main course, but I have to say even with the bacon I thought it would make a better side dish.

*You can also cheat like I did. Place the beans in a big pot of water and heat the pot until the water boils. Shut off heat and let cool for an hour or two.

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