Beans beans the magical fruit... In South Louisiana beans are popular,
especially the Red, White, and Lima varieties.
Beans are beans, many varieties exist, and, with different
seasonings taste distinctively different from each other. We're not
going to get into the science of that, but, the final outcome of the
variety you will cook will vary. This is not hard to learn so listen
up, it's just a few rules!
Meat..... you should have meat or meat flavor of some kind, or, you can use
bullion cubes if you wish. Meat flavor just goes with beans no matter
what the source. Ham hocks, salt meat, bacon, andouille, taso,
sausage, ham, ground meat, steak.... I don't care...! Pork is better,
beef is next... forget poultry..., BUT, I won't say that it can't be
done! Be creative if you wish.
Vegetables... Onions, green inions, celery,
parsley and garlic. Lightly brown the onions and meat.
[1 lb. beans need about 1 med. onion and 1/2 cup of the rest except
the garlic]... simple huh?
Garlic... 1 tsp. fresh chopped per pound of beans
Pepper... Black, white, green, pink, doesn't matter... you
need a little! Season to taste.
Thyme... just a little (a pinch or two)
Remember we're talking basic beans here... let's look
at a few.
1. White beans
...a great "goes with fried fish, or Jambalaya" favorite
here in South Louisiana. White beans are Navy Pea, or, Great Northern,
beans you can find in most stores. The basics above apply. A few
dashes of Worcestershire goes good with this also.
2. Kidney (or) Red Beans
... "Read beans and rice" is the popular title, but I don't
know of many beans you don't eat with rice down here in Louisiana.
Anyway, Red Beans are done with the basics above but goes well with a
little tomato sauce (that's the Creole influence) and smoked sausage
cooked in the beans and/or on the side. Red beans go well as a
side for fried chicken also.
3. Lima beans
The rules above apply, and once more, can be done with fresh tomatoes
All the other Beans
... be creative with what you've learned here... cook them for
yourself before you try them on your guests! ha.... you'll do fine but give
your tests a chance, be patient. You can break out your "new
dish" any time you wish. Be smart, try before you serve.
Dried beans will take a little longer to cook than fresh or canned
beans so give them that time. I've purchased different brands of dried
white beans that actually took longer to cook, one brand versus the
other. I can't tell you why but that's a fact.
We expect White and Red beans to add a little creaminess to them so
we'll mash up a few spoonfuls to accomplish this. Why creamy? To fit
better over rice.
Taste... taste... taste.. before you serve...