Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Full of Beans

 

Beans are edible seeds classified differently from lentils and peas.  The more than 400 varieties of beans are cultivated all over the world and have sustained us for over a thousand years.

Provincially, Ontario and Manitoba produce the bulk of the annual Canadian bean harvest which is sold for domestic and export consumption. Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta also contribute to our annual bean harvest producing lesser amounts.

Ontario has been growing white beans since the early 1900’s and has expanded its crop to include pinto, cranberry, black, kidney, great northern, and navy beans with a number of other varieties being grown in lesser amounts.

Beans are the richest source of cholesterol and fat free vegetable based protein in the world. This excellent source of dietary fibre contains complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested by the body which in turn causes or blood sugar levels to rise slowly as well making beans an excellent food for managing diabetes.

Dried beans have an indefinite shelf life when stored in a cool, dry place. It must be noted that the older the beans they lose nutritional value and they will take longer to cook. As well the addition of salt, sugar, and tomatoes which are acidic will lengthen the cooking time of beans as they cause the beans to harden. Although it isn’t necessary it is best to soak your beans before cooking them as it will significantly reduce their cooking time and decreases the amount of human flatulence as it will rinse away the beans gas producing sugars.

The two methods of soaking used will see either the beans soaking overnight in three times their volume of water which is then drained, and the beans are rinsed before cooking or the power soaking method where you can place your beans in a pot, cover them with three times their volume of water. Bring the beans to a boil for a couple of minutes. Then remove the beans from the heat and let them rest in the water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse the beans before cooking.

I recommend trying Thompsons dry white pea beans in the following recipe as they have been growing beans in Ontario since 1924 and supply over 30 countries with their products.

 

Baked Beans

Ingredients:

3 cups dry white pea beans

1/2 lb.  Bacon or salt pork, uncooked, diced

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. ground or minced ginger, fresh

1 cinnamon stick

1- 28 oz. can dice tomatoes with juice

3/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup

3/4 cup fancy molasses

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tbsp. Dijon or yellow prepared mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Rinse the beans in a colander and pick through them to discard any debris or stones.  Power soak your beans in a large, stainless steel, heavy bottomed stockpot, by covering the beans with 9 cups of water, and bringing them to a boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and allow the beans to rest in the water for 2 hours. Drain of the water from the beans and discard. Rinse the beans in a colander with running water. Return the rinsed beans to the pot and add 9 cups of fresh water to the pot. Again bring the beans to a boil; then reduce the heat to allow the beans to gently simmer until they become tender about 45 minutes.  Again drain the beans but this time reserve 2 cups of the cooking water. In a Dutch oven or oven proof casserole dish cook the bacon and onions until the onions become golden brown over medium heat. Stir in the chili powder and ginger and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Next stir in remaining ingredients. Cover the baking vessel with a lid or some foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 300°F for 3 hours. Uncover and continue to bake your beans for another hour or until desired consistency. The sauce should stick to the beans and not be watery. Yields: ½ gallon of baked beans.

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