We had the opportunity to travel on a family vacation to France back in 2009.…
I was asked to help with a fund raiser for “300” people by an old friend, Bill Neiland, for the His Way fundraiser. (His Way is a residential recovery program for men with drug and alcohol addiction.) The theme we came up with was a take off of a Brazilian Steakhouse (Rodizio). Bill and I have eaten at several of these around the country when we worked together at a previous employer. Bill thought it would be a good idea to do something a little different for this event. The headliners for the event were the Alley Cats. And so – Fogo de Chow – a Brazillian Steakhouse with a Southern Flair was hatched. (If you want to see Tom Reynolds – His Way Director on stage with the Alley Cats – check the video at the bottom….)
If you aren’t familiar with this dining concept – you generally have an area with salads and sides that you serve yourself and then the come through the dining room with different meat options and you select what you would like to have. For our event, we would have to put the salads and sides on each table and then come around with the meat and the desserts.
As we worked on the menu, we started with the meats. Because of the limitation of time and the venue (Mayfair Church of Christ allowed us to use their gym and kitchen), we were going to have to have a good bit of the food pre-done. I contacted my friend Libby Webb of New Market BBQ and we came up with the plan for them to smoke three of the meats – Beef Brisket, Pork Tenderloin and Turkey Breast and we would grill Sirloin Roasts on-site. I also wanted a variety of desserts, so Libby helped us with three of those – banana pudding, Elvis Cake and Butterfinger Cake. We made a vanilla pound cake with local farm fresh strawberries and whipped cream as another dessert option.
Then we got to the sides….I suggested that we have two salads, a regular green lettuce salad with an Orange Vinaigrette dressing that I made and cole slaw with a cole slaw dressing that I put together. Those dressings could be made ahead and we could toss the cole slaw and put dressing on the salads before we served and it wouldn’t take a lot of time. Since I had Libby helping, the BEST side (at least my favorite side) at New Market BBQ is the smoked mac-n-cheese, so that was definitely in. We also decided baked potatoes would be good, so I got medium Yukon Gold style potatoes for that.
But we still needed something else – we thought of doing baked beans because that would work with the kitchen and the time frame, but decided it needed to be a bit more “exotic” than that. Since black beans figure prominently in much of the South American cuisines, we settled on baked black beans. By now, the event is just a week away, and Bill – let’s keep selling tables – had the paid headcount up to 360 – I’m off trying to find the final dish to serve.
In doing my research, I was unable to find a “Baked Black Bean” recipe to start from. Everything I found in my books and research sites used a bean pot and a long time in the oven, which would not work for this scale or the time frame I had. So, the Saturday night before the event, we’re having Baked Black Beans for dinner as I’m developing a recipe to use that week.
After the event, Bill has received many requests for the Baked Black Bean recipe – so here it is. (Sorry, no pictures) I should also add that the fundraiser was a huge success and funds were raised to help with the costs of operating the program.
Brazilian Baked Black Beans
Recipe copyright 2014 by C.C. Fridlin
3 cans Black Beans (15 ounce cans)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¾ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If black beans have a lot of liquid drain all but about ¼ cup. (CC’s note: When I was working the recipe at home – I used the Bush’s canned black beans and discovered that they did not have a lot of liquid to drain off and wanted to use it in the dish. When we got the number 10 food service cans of black beans for the event – they had a TON of liquid, so we had to drain and only put a small amount of the liquid in the dish. If you have too much liquid, no big deal, just leave them in a little longer to evaporate off the excess – ours were in a warmer for a while and that also let a little more evaporate)
Put a sauté pan over medium high heat. Put the olive oil in the pan, add the onion and sauté until softened and turning translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
Put the onions and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and the mustard powder. Mix the ingredients well.
Place the black beans in an 8X8 baking pan. Mix in the onion mixture.
Bake in the 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Taste the beans, if they taste “dull,” mix in a little additional cider vinegar.
To serve, sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the top of the beans.