Monday, January 07, 2008

Continuing to use that left over ham - - BEANS!

Ok....I know, I know. But we love Beans. And there is nothing like a good pot of beans made with ham and of course some freshly baked corn bread to go along. My mom used to make this for our family. It was one of my daddy's favorite meals and I admit it's one of mine. I made this Sunday afternoon. Of course Tex loved them. OK - - - he loves just about everything I cook. Thank goodness for crock pots because they make cooking a pot of beans so easy. First I must say that beans are very good for you. And they make a good filling meal. Plus it's one of those meals I call "cheap eats".

I also just read in the Fresno Bee a way to cook those beans so you don't "toot" all day long. Soak them in hot water. Lots of oligosaccharides (try to say that one!) the complex sugars in legumes that cause intestinal gas, leach out of legumes in a hot-water soak. If you're really worried about these sugars, drain the soaking water and replace it with fresh water before cooking. Sounds pretty easy doesn't it?

Here's my basic recipe for beans.

3 cups of Pinto beans. Wash thoroughly.
Put into a 4 qt. crock pot.
Cover beans with water (hot if you want) and fill to about 1" above the beans.
Add 1 diced onion.
Add what ever amount of ham you like or need to use up. Another good meat in Hot Links. It will make your beans a little spicy but good.
Add salt and pepper. The amount of salt depends on how salty your ham is. Remember that beans are basically bland and will need salt to bring out the flavor. My Nana spice is also good to add. Also good is bell pepper (diced of course).

I start my beans in the morning on low and they are done by dinner time. I many times start them when I come home for lunch. I put them on high and they are done when I get home. I don't soak them overnight like I use to and they turn out just as good.

This is also my basic bean recipe for making refried beans. When I am making refried beans I also add Garlic and a few pieces of bacon. Drain the water off when they are done cooking and then mash them up and there you have it - - Refried Beans! Don't hurt to add a little Lard or butter either.

Ok - - I know this can't be complete with out that famous poem...............

Beans, beans the musical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So - - - let's eat beans for every meal!

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