Monday, May 02, 2011

Roll that beautiful bean footage!

Fancy beanpot, about $1.33 per serving(or $1 if you take more modest serving sizes). Well, fancy if you, like me, hail from Arkansas, and we gots good taste!!!

I've only made beans-beans a few times in my life (a long time ago), and they always seemed to turn to an unpleasant mush. I'd presumed I'm not a big bean fan. Well, these days, I have a better idea about what I like and what constitutes good seasoning. Saturday afternoon, I felt inspired by a text message from my super-thrifty sister (Blowfuzzy von Sassy) to cook a pot of beans. After a hard day working in the garden Saturday, I sat on the porch with Himself, enjoying the very lovely weather and a nice bowl of beans, and wondering why a pot of beans did not become a staple in my fridge a long time ago. Was very cheap, very delicious, and who knew it would get into the 30s overnight and be a dreary, drippy day on Sunday? LEFTOVERS! And they were even better the second time.

I finally figured out a tasty way to use those 3 lb boxes of bacon ends and pieces, and that thrills me, because at $6.00, it's about a sixth the price per pound as premium bacon. It definitely won't pass muster as full-on bacon in tidy little strips, but it sure is great in a pot of beans. I opened the pack, and put a big, heaping handful each into 5 ziploc bags, bunged those into the freezer and there they are for another day, and the remainder were for this pot of beans. Yay!

Phlegmmy's Yee-Haw Beans*

1/2 lb bacon ends and pieces, roughly chopped into smaller bits
2 cloves garlic, crushed
splash of olive oil
*I also used about a tablespoon of coconut oil, for grins

put those in the crock pot on high, along with a couple quarts of water, then dump in the following ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped into large, coarse chunks
2 cups dry red beans, rinsed and hand sorted (pick out the rocks, dangit!)
1 cup dry black beans, rinsed (you may want to use another type, as black beans will make the bacon go all inky-purple, along with the rest of the dish)
1 cup dry white beans, rinsed
1 small tin Hatch green chiles (or more, to taste, or jalapenos, if you prefer)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped
Freshly cracked pepper
1 quart stock made with chicken/beef bouillion cubes
1 Tablespoon Cavender's Greek Seasoning without MSG
1 c quinoa (get pre-washed, or plan to soak and rinse this stuff yourself)

Turn the ingredients a bit with a large spoon, making sure the seasonings get mixed in, and that all ingredients are well covered with water, and add more water if needed. After they were cooking a couple hours, I came back, lifted the lid and had to add more water, as some of the beans had absorbed the water and were drydocked on top of the pile. I keep a water filter pitcher handy for just such occasions. I let the lot cook a couple more hours and the pups were losing their minds. This plumb filled up a 7 quart crock pot, so you WILL have enough to feed plenty of folks. Or Paul Bunyan.

I garnished with a little fresh-grated Romano cheese and some more fresh cilantro and I must say this was delicious. As for insulin-friendly cooking, we had a few little crackers left in a packet along with the beans, but something about the quinoa gives a nice, satisfying bite to the bowl, and we really didn't missing having a cornbread or other big starch to go with the meal. I also think mixing this with garlic-ladened yogurt would have a nice, sour-cream effect, but would also be doing nice things for the bacteria in your gut. On that note, even though I didn't soak the beans, there have been no ill after-effects for me, and if Himself has noticed any, he's most genteelly kept his custom of keeping me ignorant of same. Thank you, darling.

And it was even better the second day when it was all drippy and drab. Nice, cheap ready eats to keep around the house. Enjoy!

*Any similarity to bean recipes living or dead is coincidental and purely unintentional


Vinogirl said...

Ha! I always think about the poor Vinodogs when the slow cooker is fired up, especially when I am cooking a whole chicken. It must be torture for them!

Jon said...

Next time you make beans, put some salt pork in the pot. It's full of flavor, but you really have to watch the salt. Usually, the salt pork has enough. Any more needed is usually only a smidgen.

charlotte g said...

I almost always cook my beans vegetarian style, but the recipe really interests me. I really like the idea of the Greek yogurt. Maybe a bowl of beans with a Spinach salad alongside. Hmmm.

J.R.Shirley said...

Mmm. 'course, it'd be hard not to want some cornbread, too...