Saturday, July 17, 2010

These Ain't Your Mama's Lima Beans

When I was a kid I hated lima beans. Everytime we had them, which was rare suggesting my mother didn't like them either, they were dry and tasteless. I can still remember them crumbling in my mouth requiring an extra gulp of cold milk to wash them down - yuck! So, when my boyfriend suggested we buy lima beans at the farmer's market this weekend I was less than excited about the idea; however, I figured it was worth trying them again. Afterall these beans were fresh, not frozen like the ones from my childhood memory, and we all know fresh tastes best. So, I agreed to give it a go. After doing a bit of research, this is the recipe we came up with. Much to my surprise these beans are good, really good, like I might eat the entire batch in one day good.

Lima Bean Succotash
2 C shelled fresh lima beans (about a pint)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp diced onion
2 Tbsp diced shallot (about 1/4 of a large shallot)
3 strips bacon*
1 C peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomato (about 1 large slicing tomato)
2 C corn kernels, freshly cut from the cob (about 2 medium ears)
1 tsp butter
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the beans, refill the pot with fresh water** and bring to a boil. Add the beans and boil for 3 minutes longer. Drain and set aside.

Add oil to a cast iron skillet set to medium heat. Once oil is warm, add the onion, shallot, and bacon. Once the onion softens and becomes translucent add the tomato and corn, heat through. Add the lima beans, butter, salt, and pepper; heat through. Serve immediately.

* Note: I used pre-cooked bacon. If you use uncooked bacon you may need to cut down on the amount of olive oil you use.

** Note: Raw lima beans contain plycosides that create poisonous hydrocyanic acid in the human digestive system; the poison is destroyed by boiling the beans. You should discard the first pot of water to get rid of any plycosides that may have been released during the cooking.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Congratulations Kacie!

Congratulations Kacie! You are the winner of the CSN $50 gift certificate. You have 48 hours to claim your prize or another winner will be selected.

Thank you to everyone who participated and to CSN for providing The Simple Gourmand followers with this great opportunity. Check back regularly for more recipes and new giveaways.

The generous folks from CSN stores have offered another great giveaway for my readers – a $50 gift certificate for use on any of the CSN sites. This is an incredible offer since the CSN family has over 200 stores to meet a variety of your shopping needs. Just browsing through some of their sites I found items for every room in your home. From cooking (e.g. kitchen gadgets, appliances) and gardening supplies (e.g. tools) to bedroom (e.g. headboards, dressers, night stands) and office furniture (e.g. desks, bookshelves). You name it, they’ve got it! Many of the items are on sale and most of them come with free shipping. It doesn’t get much better than that!

So what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway and get shopping!

How to enter:

  • First entry, visit CSN Stores and tell me one product you found that you would love to have. This is mandatory before other entries will be counted.
  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Add me to your blog roll
  • Follow me publicly in google
  • Post this giveaway link on your Facebook page (1 per day)
Be sure to leave a comment for each entry and a valid email address. Open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be chosen by random integer selection. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen. Contest will close on Friday, July 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM EST. Good Luck!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Best French Bread, Ever!

We had a nice break in the hot temps here this weekend so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a bike ride to the farmers market. Although the closest market is small it offers a great selection of fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. They even have treats for dogs, which Coleman has benefitted from on a few occasions. So after our visit yesterday, we rode home with a bag full of corn, lima beans, andouille sausage, and gouda. Although I was excited about the loot, I wasn't much in the mood for making a big meal yesterday. Instead I decided to bake some bread to go with the gouda. Now, you might say, "I thought you weren't up for spending a lot of time in the kitchen" - which was true, but since I used the bread machine for kneading the dough I didn't really have to do much. Sure, I had to be home to punch down the dough a few times, but it was raining so I wasn't missing out of anything by sticking around the house. In the end, I was extremely pleased with how well this bread turned out - I couldn't stop eating it!

1 1/4 C warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Pour water into bread machine pan, then add salt and flour. Make a small well in the center of the flour, be careful not to reach the water level, and put the yeast in the well. Select the dough setting and press start. When the dough setting ends, set a timer and allow the dough to rise for another hour in the bread machine (do not set the bread machine on any cycle). After one hour, punch the bread down, and let it rise in the bread machine for another hour.

Turn dough out of the pan onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a smooth round ball and flatten it with your hands. Place the dough ball into a large bowl that is lined with a clean kitchen towel that has been dusted with flour. Place bowl in a warm dry place and let dough rise, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450°. Turn dough out of bowl onto a lightly oiled baking pan. Slash the top of the dough in a # pattern. Place a small pan with 2 cups of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the bread on the top rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let bread sit for one hour before slicing.