Friday, August 31, 2012

Gettin' my Southern On: Ham and Beans

 Ever since we moved to Louisiana last December (wow, time flies!) I've been looking for more typical Southern recipes. I'm not a huge fan of fried chicken, I love seafood but Will can't stomach it, and I always *try* to find a recipe that's reasonably healthy. As you can imagine, this has not been easy. Most Southern recipes I find look delicious, but they're chock full of butter, cream and every other calorie-laden ingredient on the planet. While I wouldn't go so far as to say this recipe is friendly towards dieters, it's a good, hearty weeknight dish. Generally, what I do when I'm trying a new recipe is follow the directions without ANY deviation the first time, and then if I make the recipe again I make the necessary adjustments. It was a little too sweet for my taste, so I think I would cut the brown sugar in half. Otherwise, this was a great dinner (served with the obligatory side of cornbread!).
Source: All Recipes

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound dry great Northern beans
  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
Directions:

1. Rinse beans in a large pot; discard shriveled beans and any small stones. Add 8 cups of cold water. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans. 
2. Return beans to pot and add ham, onion, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley and water to cover.
3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Add more water if necessary during cooking time.

                          (The beans and ham should look like this when they are done).







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