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A New England Tale: Fried Cod & Arugula Burger, Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans.

March 26, 2012

I moved to Providence, Rhode Island in September to start my PhD program at Brown. I’ve visited Boston a few times and every time I’ve indulged in Fish & Chips, Boston Baked Beans and plenty of Sam Adams. So, I thought it was time this blog reflected my new northeasterly location. The post’s title refers to an 1822 domestic novel by Catherine Sedgewick. I read her better known book Hope Leslie a few weeks ago for class and rather enjoyed it. I was one of the only class members who actually finished it that day and ended up kind of dominating class discussion as a result. So mad props to Catherine Sedgewick for making me look smart!

Now, let’s get regional! The following makes 4 burgers and 5-6 servings of beans. Heads up: You have to start the beans the night before!

Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

  • 1 1/2 cups navy beans
  • 1/2 cup pinto beans (or all navy beans)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Honey, Parsley (optional)
  1. Soak beans overnight in cold water. Simmer the beans in the same water until tender, approximately 1 to 2 hours. Drain and reserve the liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Place beans in a large casserole dish, layering with onion.
  4. In a large frying pan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then pour over beans. Pour in enough of the reserved bean water to cover the beans. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 3 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until beans are tender. Remove the lid about halfway through cooking, and add more liquid if necessary to prevent the beans from getting too dry.
  6. Garnish with a little drizzled honey and chopped parsley.


Breaded Cod & Arugula Burger (with lemon garlic aioli).

  • 1 cup Bread crumbs (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard flour
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 medium filets of cod
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • a couple handfuls of arugula
  • 4 rolls
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. If you’re making your own bread crumbs, just cube up some bread early in the day and leave it out to get stale. Then toast the cubes lightly and crush them with a rolling pin.
  3. Combine bread crumbs, flour and spices in a small bowl.
  4. Slice cod filets into 4 pieces. Crack the egg in a small bowl and beat it. Dip the filets into the egg and then into the bread crumb mixture one at a time. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.
  5. Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise with diced garlic and the juice of 1/2 the lemon. Cut the red onion into thin slices and fry with a little oil. Lightly toast the buns.
  6. Spread the mayonnaise mixture (ie. the ‘aioli’) on one side of the bun. Slice a little avocado on too, if you’re so inclined. Place the fish filet on this and add a squeeze of lemon, the red onion and some arugula.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 4:55 pm

    YES! I’ve been WAITING for this baked beans recipe. I can’t wait to make it. I’ve never made homemade baked beans before.

    Maybe I’ll get regional right back at you and make maple baked beans :)

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