Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dried Bush Bean Recipe

Out of curiosity we left our green, yellow and royal burgundy bush beans in the garden long after they stopped producing tasty tender beans.  By the end of September, we had quite a few dried beans along with some really tough beans.  We decided to pick the dried pods and leave the tough green pods for the compost pile.

After we shelled them, we had about 3 cups worth of dried bush beans.  We also had a few questions:

  • Is there an official name for dried bush beans?
  • Will they make good seed for next year?
  • Can they be used in any dried bean recipe?

A Name
What do you call dried beans from yellow, green and royal burgundy bush beans?  Can't seem to find an answer to that one.  Do you know?

If they are nameless, perhaps we can be the first to name them!  Any ideas?

Seed for Next Year
These aren't fancy beans that we're talking about.  They're the standard McKenzie seed package that you can buy in any store.  The label doesn't say anything about GMO's, Hybrid, Heirloom or anything else that would indicate that they could or could not be used as seed for next year.  We thought about putting a couple beans in water to see if they germinate - but that would only tell us if they germinate, not necessarily if they'll produce beans next year.

We're betting that they'll produce and have saved enough "seed" for next year.

Cooking with Dried Bush Beans
When we searched for dried bean recipes, one recipe came up so frequently, that we just had to test it out - Cajun Red Beans with Rice.  Of course we modified the recipe since our beans aren't red, we're Manitoban and we like using Cavena Nuda.

Here's what we ended up with: 
Manitoban Dried Bush Beans with Cavena Nuda
A crockpot recipe that's easy, but takes time.

the dark brown beans are from green wax bush beans and the lighter ones are from royal burgundy wax bush beans and the green beans are french cut scarlett runner beans


Ingredients
2 cups dried bush beans (or any other dried bean)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 dried cayenne peppers finely chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup scarlett runner beans (fresh beans, not dried)
salt and pepper to taste


1 cup brown rice
1 cup cavena nuda


Preparation
Wash and rinse beans at least two times.
Place beans in a bowl and cover with water about 2 inches above the beans.
Let soak overnight.


Rinse beans.
Place in crockpot.


Heat canola oil in a fry pan.
Saute onions, garlic and celery until soft and tender.
Add to crockpot.
Add chopped cayenne peppers, vegetable broth and Worcestershire sauce.
Turn crockpot on low and let cook for 8 hours or until beans are tender.


Dissolve cornstarch with a little water and add to bean mix to thicken the sauce.
Cut fresh beans into small pieces (or french style).
Add green beans and parsley to crockpot.
Season with salt and pepper.


Place rice and cavena nuda in a pot.
Add 3 cups water.
Bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer and cook until brown rice is tender (40 minutes). Cavena Nuda will not get as soft as the rice, so use the rice as the indicator of doneness.


Serve beans over brown rice and cavena nuda mixture.


Serves:  4 adults for one meal or 2 adults and 2 picky children for two meals

The verdict:
Our Manitoban dried bush beans worked very well in this recipe.  The texture and taste were just like any canned beans you can get in the store.

The Cajun recipes often included ham or sausage.  I can definitely see how that would add to this recipe.  Next time, I think we'll try it with browned sausage meat or bits of Manitoba farmer sausage.

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