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Columns August 19, 2014  RSS feed

Leon County Cooks

Sherry Matney

Okay, so now you have baked a white potato and a sweet potato and have that skill under your belt. Now let’s look at how to cook dried beans. I know they are not a glamor food and many turn up their noses at beans, but pinto and lima beans are some of the most nourishing, easiest and cheapest foods you can put in your mouth.

So go to Brookshire Brothers and pick up your favorite kind of bean, mine happen to be the ones I named above. Let’s do pintos today, because if you can cook pintos you can cook any of the others. You have probably bought a onepound bag so measure out one cup of the dried beans, this is about ½ pound.

Look through them carefully to be sure there are no chunks of dirt or a rock, put them into a bowl and wash thoroughly then put them into the pan you want to cook them in. Cover the beans with about 4 cups of water and let stand overnight or at least 8 hours.

The next morning, or when you are ready to cook the beans, drain and rinse them then add enough water to cover. Turn on the burner to medium heat, add two slices bacon and a little salt. Then cook for one to two hours on medium low heat. Watch the beans to be sure they don’t soak up the water and burn, but usually, when beans are soaked previously they don’t require more water. I love a lot of juice so I probably put in more water than most folks would.

You can cook lima beans the same way, but they do not take as much time. Soaking does not take as long either. Cook so that you have enough juice for cornbread on this one too.

Now you have your beans cooked and you are ready to eat. If you had baked two potatoes yesterday, rather than one, you can take the extra one out of the fridge, and make fried potatoes. Anyone who grew up in Leon County, especially, Flo, knows that it is almost a requirement to have fried potatoes with red beans.

Take your already baked potato and slice it across, making round slices about ¼ inch. Heat your skillet with a small amount of cooking oil, I use a black skillet, salt each potato slice and put it in the oil when it is hot enough to sizzle. Turn each slice when it is brown, just a couple of minutes. Take the browned potatoes slices out, cut a big slice of onion, put your beans and potatoes on your plate and enjoy.

I grew up on beans and potatoes so they do not seem difficult to maneuver. If you have any particular food you would like to try, contact the paper and we can see what we can do.

I am so excited to have found an absolutely wonderful cookbook that I will feature for the next few weeks. It is The 40th Anniversary Cookbook of the Bison Belles, published in 1998.

We will share lots of recipes and history of this award winning drill team that has been a part of BHS history for 57 years.

To go along with the “easy” to cook items we have discussed the past few weeks, following is a recipe out of the Belle’s cookbook that couldn’t be easier.

Mexican Soup – Glenda Williams Moreland 2 pounds hamburger meat 1 small onion 1 52 oz. can Ranch style beans 1 15 ¼ oz cans whole kernel corn 16 0z. jar picante sauce

Brown hamburger meat and onion. Drain off excess fat. Add beans, corn and Picante sauce. Stir together. Simmer 20 minutes to combine flavors.

Still wanting to feature someone’s cookbook. Contact the paper if you have one.

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