Ann Page, the mythical home economist of the A&P company as well as their brand name of food items, had a penchant for recipes that were both cheap and quick. Like this recipe for bean-stuffed peppers. “Just heat ‘n’ eat for quick, time-saving meals. And on special occasions, try the flavorsome dish, featured above.”
2 cans Ann Page Red Kidney Beans
2 medium-sized green peppers
1/3 cup grated American Cheese
Wash peppers; cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Cook in salted water 5 to 10 minutes. Fill pepper halves with beans. Top with grated cheese. Place in shallow baking dish. Add a little water in bottom of pan. Bake in moderate oven, 375°F., for 20 minutes. Garnish with pimiento — Recipe is generous for four: allowing one serving of “Beans-in-a-Bonnet” and liberal helpings of beans.
That’s 25-30 minutes of cook time, plus 5 or so for prep — this isn’t really a “quick, time-saving meal” so I guess it’s going to be for a “special occasion.” (Or, a Thursday.)
Aside from the green peppers, a lot of these ingredients were somewhat modified. The beans, for example: not only are they not Ann Page beans, they aren’t even canned. (Dried beans are super cheap. But they do take a bit longer to cook.)
Green pepper halves were boiled for about five minutes. (I really didn’t want to risk making them super-mushy, and a ten minute boil just seemed too long.)
The beans were scooped into the “bonnets” — about 1/2 cup of beans in each, I’d estimate.
Nobody sells grated American cheese, or even blocks that can be grated. So we got some slices from the deli, then julienned it — the result is more or less the same size you would get from grating cheese.
And then all that “grated” cheese was sprinkled over the bonnets.
Another thing that nobody seems to sell any more is pimiento strips, just chunks or whole peppers. So, I julienned some whole peppers. (Side note: marinated red peppers taste SO much better than typical pimiento chunks. Buy these things and then cut them up yourself. Mmmmm.)
While the “bonnets” baked, I tried to make some of those cute little cheese curls, but I can’t figure out how they did it. I ran a peeler over some cheese (cheddar, since I didn’t have American) and just got a flat rectangle of cheese. Oh well.
But I did have lovely strips of pimiento to put on top. It’s a great opportunity to get cute with food.
The recipe would have been better with cheddar, or any other interesting cheese, than American cheese. It did add a nice creamy texture, though, and helped pull everything together. I don’t know if I’d really call this a dish worthy of a “special occasion,” but it was good enough for a weekday dinner.
Recipe scanned in by bluwmongoose on Flickr