Stewed Fava Beans

INGREDIENTS:

4 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans (14 oz. size) stewed tomatoes
4 lbs. shelled fava beans (no need to remove inner skins if the beans are young)

METHOD:

In a large pan, heat olive oil and sauté sausage meat, crumbling meat as it cooks. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes and simmer 20 minutes.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste and cook fava beans until tender. Drain the beans.

Add drained beans to the tomato mixture and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

SOURCE: Recipe submitted by Joann Minazzoli of Minazzoli Farms

 

Stew of Cranberry Beans, Carrots and Collards

This is a flavorful mélange that is not wet enough to be a soup, but not dry, either. Although you could easily add more liquid for a soup or cook it dry as a side dish.

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups cooked cranberry beans (see recipe for Basic Braised Shelling Beans on site)
2 cups carrots, cut in ¼-inch dice
½ bunch collards, stems stripped and cut into ¼-inch shreds
½ onion, diced ¼-inch
½ bunch scallions, whites cut into ¼-inch slices, greens finely sliced, kept separate
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced ½-inch
1 clove garlic, minced
Optional-¼ cup “instant” barley (a.k.a. 10-minute barley)*
3-4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed
Romano cheese to pass at service if you wish
Optional- 2 cups potatoes such as Bintji, cut into ½-inch dice, cooked in boiling water until just tender, then shocked in ice water to arrest cooking
4-8 slices of sturdy country style bread, sliced thickly and toasted until firm and golden

METHOD:
Heat a chef’s pan or straight sided sauté pan large enough to hold all the ingredients over medium heat. Film generously with oil. When hot, add the carrots and cook to color them golden. When evenly golden and still a bit firm, use a slotted spoon to remove to a bowl.

Add the onions to the pan and cook until “clear”. Add the scallions and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, then add the tomatoes. Lower heat to medium and season with salt and pepper and add half the herbs. Stir vigorously and cook to break down the tomatoes. Toss the barley in, if using, after a minute.

Cook 5 minutes. The tomatoes should be fairly broken down. Add the rest of the herbs, and the stock. Add the collards and bring to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring to keep the barley from sticking to the pan bottom.

After ten minutes, add the carrots and the beans to the pan. If using, add the potatoes. The liquid should just come even with the top of the ingredients. Simmer, lid off, for ten minutes. Gently stir, turning the ingredients under the diminishing liquid. After 10 minutes, taste a carrot to see if it is tender. Taste the stew for flavor/balance and adjust if needed. If the carrots are cooked and the beans are heated through, the dish is ready to serve.

The liquid in the pan should come to about half-way up the vegetables. If there is a lot more left in the pan, raise the heat under the pan and cook down to reduce the liquid a bit.

Put a piece of toast into a large bowl and ladle vegetables over the top of the bread. Pour some liquid around, drizzle with a little oil, scatter the top with the finely sliced scallion greens, and serve. Pass the cheese if desired.

Chef’s Notes:
*Instant barley is par-cooked barley that only takes around 10 minutes to become tender. It also seems to not have quite as much starch as cooked form scratch does, which is nice for this stew. It thickens the broth a little for a little substance, but not too much. It is also good to use the barley, because with the beans and some dairy, like the cheese passed at the end, this stew makes a complete protein, which is a good thing. Look for instant barley at health food stores, Trader Joe’s, and better grocery stores.

YIELD: Serves 4

Basic Braised Shelling Beans

This is the basic method for cooking fresh shelling beans (or “shellies” as some people call them) such as cranberry, borlotti, Tongues of Fire. You can eat these beans “as-is,” but if you have leftovers these beans are great with grains or added to a soup, such as a minestrone. You can use this basic recipe and add sausages and cooked rapini for a one-dish meal, or you can use a rich vegetable stock with some carrots and celery and add some long cooked farro, and puree for a hearty soup. If you have pesto, it is a wonderful seasoning for these beans. Just stir in a dollop and enjoy an end of summer treat. Enjoy shelling beans while you can, as the season is fairly short, and then these will all be dried beans.

INGREDIENTS:
2-3 cups fresh shelled beans*
1 brown onion, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled, de-germed, and sliced thinly
2-3 fresh sage leaves, or 1-2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, or 2 inches rosemary stalk
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable stock or water to cover by 1 inch
Olive oil as needed for cooking
1-2 tablespoons very flavorful extra virgin olive oil for finishing the dish

METHOD:
Heat a chef’s pan or heavy pot just large enough to hold the beans and liquid over medium heat.

When the pan is hot, add enough oil to coat the pan bottom generously. When the oil heats up, add the onions and cook until they are softened and fragrant, but not browning.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. While the garlic cooks, bruise the sage (or rosemary if that is your herb of choice) with the flat of the knife. Hold the stem in one hand, and lay the knife almost flat on the herb and slide the knife the length of the stem/leaf.

When the garlic is softened but not colored-about 1 minute, add the herbs and stir around.

When you can smell the herbs, add the beans, and then add the liquid to cover the beans by an inch or a little more.

Season with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper and bring to a boil.

As soon as the water boils, bring the temperature down to a gentle simmer, and gently cook the beans until done. If you cook the beans too vigorously they will break down and turn to mush and the flavor will be watery. This should take around 30 minutes. The skins should be tender and the insides should have a creamy consistency.

Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed. The beans are ready for use now, or you can cool them in their liquid for use later. In my opinion, I think the beans have deeper flavor when allowed to sit in their cooking liquid for a few hours.

If reheating, you can heat the liquid the beans cooked in and then add the beans for a gentler re-heat, or just heat the pot over low until they are hot enough. Before serving, hit with a little fresh ground pepper and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive. A big Tuscan style oil is perfect here.

Chef’s Notes and Tips:
*To peel, just open the pod and pull out the beans. This is easiest done sitting down, opening the pods over a bowl to catch the beans as you run your finger down the inside of the shell. I frequently shuck the beans while doing something like waiting for other things to cook, or if I am watching a movie. I also find that kids find it a fun task to help with.

This dish lends itself to so many options! Half the time I cook shellies I start by cooking some kind of pork. Diced pancetta or prosciutto leaves flavorful fat to start the dish, as does sliced sweet Italian sausages.

Start by sautéing the pork until the fat is rendered or the sausage slices are browned. Remove the pork from the pan and drain, and then pour off all but a tablespoon or two of the fat in the pan. Proceed with the recipe and add the pork back into the dish in the last ten minutes of cooking. To make this heartier, sauté chunks of carrot and celery with the onions. You could also sauté rapini with garlic, and then chop it and fold it into the beans with the sausage. A nice iteration of this dish is to mix the beans with sautéed rapini, and then finish it with a squeeze of lemon juice and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This dish is a great study in contrasts of flavors and textures.

For an elegant looking soup with deep flavor, cook the beans as above, but add carrots, and a little celery and cook until everything is very tender, and then puree it to a creamy smooth consistency. Serve with a drizzle of good oil or a few drops of truffle oil, and for a really elegant presentation, make fricco (lacey cheese “crackers”) and serve with the soup. Add grains and you have a complete protein.

YIELD: Serves 4

Granny’s Barbecue Beans

BBQ-beans-1

This old fashioned side dish is a staple at our Memorial Day and Fourth of July picnics and the most requested potluck dish we take to parties. As you can tell from the name, this is an old family favorite — my Southern grandmother always had a pot of beans simmering on the back burner of her stove. These beans are great with hamburgers, fried chicken, or ribs.

INGREDIENTS:

3 large cans “brick oven” baked beans
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese*
3 bunches green onions, chopped
1 cup dark molasses
1 12 oz. package bacon, diced and cooked in microwave for 5 minutes (drain fat)**
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce (spicy KC Masterpiece is great)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

METHOD:

Mix all ingredients in large casserole and cover. Bake at 300°F for about 3-4 hours. (If you have a large crock pot, this works well, too.)

* For a lower fat version, delete the cheese and use a small can of puréed pumpkin. It adds a wonderful texture and richness.

** No need to cook the bacon until done — this step is simply to render a bit of the bacon fat. Remove partially cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and add to beans.

 

New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice

This recipe from The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin, is as close to “the real deal” as you can get. According to Ms. Collin, “red beans were traditionally cooked while the Monday wash was drying on the line, and since New Orleans humidity made that an all day job, the beans cooked for many hours.” Today, people are as passionate about their red beans as ever and red beans and rice can still be found on most menus each Monday in the Quarter.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. dried red (kidney) beans, soaked overnight in cold water to cover
2 cups onions, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 1/3 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely minced
1 lb. baked ham, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. pickled pork, cut into large chunks
1 large ham bone
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper pods
2 whole bay leaves, broken into quarters
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
2 quarts cold water, approximately
Boiled Rice
Green onion tops, chopped

METHOD:

Drain the soaked beans in a colander and put them, along with all the other ingredients, into a heavy 8-10 quart pot or kettle, adding just enough of the cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer on low heat for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or until the beans are tender and a thick natural gravy has formed.

Add about 1 cups of water toward the end of cooking if the mixture appears too dry. During cooking, stir frequently and scrape down the sides and across the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent scorching. (If you use a heavy pot and very low heat – just high enough to keep the barest simmer going –you should have no problem with beans sticking to the pot during cooking.) Stir the entire mixture thoroughly just once about every half hour.

When the beans are cooked, turn off the heat. To serve, ladle about 1 1/2 cups of beans, with meat and gravy, or a portion (2/3 cup) of boiled rice. Garnish with hand full of green onion tops.

SOURCE: The New Orleans Cookbook, by Rima and Richard Collin

Red Beans and Rice

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. red kidney beans, washed and drained
2 large onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 bay leaves
24 drops Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons kitchen bouquet
2 cups water
2-3  lbs. ham, chopped
2-3 lbs. sausage, chopped
Cooked long grain rice for serving

METHOD:

In large stock pot, combine beans, onions, celery, bay leaves, Tabasco, Italian and Creole seasonings, Worcestershire and soy sauces, kitchen bouquet and water. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

When ready to cook, add ham and sausage, and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for one hour, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cook for 2 to 4 hours or until thick and beans are tender.

One hour before done, mash approximately 40% of the beans with potato masher. Serve over rice.

SOURCE: Recipe submitted by Jeanne Lowe and Carl Miller of Catering Magik