A while ago, I was sent a copy of ‘When You Entertain’, a recipe book from Coca- Cola. This is a modern version of a book originally written for Coca-Cola in 1932 by legendary American hostess, Ida Bailey Allen. The new book is written by a collaboration of celebrated British Foodies; chef Tom Aikens, ex Blur bassist and food addict Alex James, 2008 Celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McClarnon and food blogger, Julia Parsons of A Slice of Cherry Pie and founder of the UK Food Bloggers Association. It is edited by renowned journalist Tiffanie Darke.
The book is divided into four categories; Weekend Brunches, Family Mealtimes, Saturday Night with Friends and Easy Lunch. Recipes include, Caveman Corn and Chicken, Spicy Crab Mushrooms, Braised Lamb Shank with Honey Roasted Garlic and Gammon and Peas Pudding. There are even some inventive recipes that use Coca-Cola in the book and they include, Coca-Cola Ginger Cake, Coca-Cola Chicken Salad with Garden Potatoes and Coca-Cola Sticky Ribs.
However, as soon as I saw Coca-Cola Marinated Steak (a recipe from Julia Parsons), I knew I had to give it ago. In the book, it is served with coleslaw and corn but I decided to serve it with Cool Beans (a recipe from the book by Alex James) and my potato wedges that I sometimes serve with steak. The steak marinade was simplicity in itself: onion, garlic, Coca-Cola, Worcestershire Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce. Put it in a freezer bag and leave it in the fridge for as long as you can and griddle or BBQ it until it is cooked the way you like it. The beans recipe is slightly harder and made harder still when you do not read the recipe properly like I did. Doh! You are supposed to cook the beans in a low oven for 24 hours however; I did not notice this until 2 hours before I wanted dinner so I have made an adapted quick version below.
Jo’s Quick Cool Beans (Adapted from a recipe in ‘When You Entertain’ by Alex James)
Serves 4 as part of a main course
- 1 onion, chopped into small chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 tin of beans of your choice, drained
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of Coca-Cola
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil
- Put some olive oil in a casserole dish that can go on hob and in oven. Allow the olive oil to heat up briefly and add the onion and garlic and fry until softened.
- Add the beans, the tomatoes and the can of Coca-Cola. Stir and add the Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce and some seasoning. Once simmering, put a lid on it and put it in a preheated 180°c oven.
- Allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes; stirring occasionally until thickened and all the flavours have come together. Check again for seasoning and serve it with the Coca-Cola marinated steak and potato wedges. Enjoy!
Many thanks to Laura for sending me the book