Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beans - the Magical Fruit...

Hehe - I know.  I'm childish.  I blame my dad...

I thank my mom for loving this dish though.  She's been talking about beans, cornbread and fried potatoes for the last month so I made them this weekend.  I've been craving it!  I skipped the fried potatoes - but a bowl of good ol' fashioned beans with some magical cornbread! 

It's been snowing for approx. the last 24 hours and it looks magical outside.  I love a good snowfall!  Snow seems to make everything peaceful - even the big city!  There was just a minor earthquake outside of Chicago and it woke me up (hence the 5 a.m. post).  I'm going to go for a walk before others can start messing up the snow to bad.  It's dark out but I'm going to bring my camera along.

I'm glad I have this warm dish for lunch today!  Start with rinsing your beans and picking out anything that's not a bean.  To shorten the cooking time, soak them in water overnight.  (I didn't do this...)

I kind of varied my mom's recipe a little bit.  She just uses ham or bacon to flavor the beans, but I thought we could do a little better than that. I started with some carrots, onions (and herbs, which I'll talk about shortly).

Chop them up.

I couldn't ignore my mom's recipe completely.  I diced up a ham steak.  

Brown it slightly in the bottom of the pan.  It'll produce it's own fat - so no need for oil.

Thrown in the chopped veggies and let soften for a minute or two.

Add in about 2 cups of chicken broth.


Add the beans.

Add just enough water to cover the beans by about two inches.  Also add about 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/8 tsp savory (I had this on hand - and I think it might be my new favorite soup herb.  It'd be perfect in chicken noodle soup.), a couple bay leaves and the bone from the ham steak.

Let simmer for 1 to 3 hours (or more), depending on if you soaked your beans or not.  Your beans should be tender but not mushy.  I made cornbread during the last 20 minutes of cooking.  It's the perfect side.  (You can see it poking up behind there - teasing you.)

Enjoy!  I know that I will today (but my neighbor at work probably will not...)!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leslie! This recipe looks great, I'm totally trying it out this weekend. :)