Since its hit 90F in Phoenix today, it seems a bit late to share a recipe for a big pot of beans in the crock pot, but since I was in Toronto last week I know that some places its still very cold (it was never above freezing for the 2 days I was there… but everyone was happy because it wasn’t snowing and the sun actually came out). And I really did make these a couple of weeks ago. The beans and greens below is a great meal for a cold day, but just in case we don’t have any more cool weather, beans and greens also make a great side dish: sauté a bit of onion, garlic and/or bacon in a pan, add a can of white beans (drained and rinsed), add a bit of water or broth and heat, then add a bag or bunch of greens… spinach, mustard greens, whatever and cook until wilted. This is a great side disk with a piece of grilled meat… dinner in 15 minutes. My last night in Toronto, dinner (at the airport Hilton, since I had a very early flight back home) was beans and greens, with roasted tomatoes stuffed with couscous… pretty good for traveling food, although I could have done without the squeeze bottle decoration of white who knows what cream something on it.
The Gadget: Crock Pot. I have the crock pot we got as a wedding gift. Which is starting to get scary, mostly because I remember appliances that my mom had (when I was a kid) from when she got married, and how ancient they seemed. So my crock pot is > 20 years old, even more ancient in relative terms, but it still works great, mostly I only use for cooking beans in the winter. If you want to cook more stuff (like whole chickens) I would recommend a 6-quart model.
The ingredient: Christmas
Beans from Native Seed Search. These are really wonderful beans. They are quite large, and pretty red and white beans that hold their color when cooked. They have a very meaty texture / taste to them. When I order the beans, I can’t help but order some chilies or chili powder. I especially like the mild Hatch Lima powder and the Chipotle chili power or flakes. Chile
Beans and Greens
This is traditionally done with Navy Beans.. but really any kind of beans works. It makes a lot, but it freezes well (just put single servings in 1 quart freezer baggies).
1 lb dry beans
1 smoked ham hock
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced (optional)
1 bag baby spinach (optional if you just want more traditional beans)