are grown throughout South Louisiana so their appearance on the table
is no surprise. In the traditional cooking style you will rarely
find snap beans that are "al dente' (cooked but slightly firm).
The beans are normally cooked down until they just begin to split
apart. Coincidentally when fresh snap beans appear in the spring the
new crop potatoes are being dug so you'll find these in the pot
Here is the simple traditional method that I use
to cook them. This recipe will handle about 1/2 gallon of fresh
1/2 gallon fresh snap beans
1 - 2" X 2" piece of salt
1 med. onion chopped
2 medium new crop potatoes brushed and cubed to 3/4" X
Cooking oil or bacon grease to just cover bottom of pot.
Pinch of garlic powder or one clove of fresh.
Small handful of fresh parsley
Salt (maybe) and fresh ground black or white pepper.
1/2 cup green onions.
Cube the salt meat in 1/2" X 1/2"
pieces. Boil the meat in a few cups of water to remove excess salt,
about 10 minutes. Remove and save the water.
Put oil in a pot and on a medium heat sauté
the Onions and salt meat until they just start turning
While this is happening brush the potato skins
with a stiff kitchen brush and remove any blemishes. When potatoes
are fresh you don't need to peel them because the skins are very
thin and they actually add flavor to the dish.
After onions and meat are done add about a cup of
water and stir, then add beans and pepper (no salt yet). Lower the
fire to med-low, cover and cook until the beans are just
starting to wilt a little stirring occasionally . Add the potatoes,
green onions, parsley and garlic, stir and continue to cook covered.
By the time the potatoes are done the beans should be done.
Taste and add salt as needed. Note: You may have
to add water as the cooking progresses. When the beans are done you
shouldn't have more than a 1/2 inch of water (if any at all) left in
Salt meat water: You can taste the water to see if
it actually tastes good (a little meat flavor and a little salty).
If it does you can add a little of this to the beans. I've seen
where the water was actually bitter in which case you wouldn't want
to use it.
You can use the same recipe for canned snap beans
but they will take a little longer to cook and won't have the same
This dish is usually served as side dish with pot
roast or other main meat courses.