Friday, February 14, 2014

Week 7: Corona Beans (Sweet White Runner Beans)

Corona Beans.  Wow.  I may have a new favorite bean.

My cousin, Bria, asked if I'd tried Corona Beans.  Not only had I never tried them before, but I searched among the beans I'd ordered and I didn't have them.  A quick trip to quickly changed this.

Sadly, I forgot to snap a picture of them before I soaked them.  But here they are post over-night soak...

For the recipe I intended to model dinner after, I needed plainly cooked beans.  After draining them from soaking overnight, I placed them in a pot, covered with a couple inches of water, brought to a boil and then lowered heat to a simmer.  After a couple hours, most of the water was cooked out and the beans were a delightful creamy texture. I took them off the heat, added ~1 teaspoons of salt and let them sit ~10-15 minutes.  Since most of the water was cooked out, I didn't need to drain them...

The recipe I was modeling after was also the recipe my cousin, Bria, recommended.  It can be found here, as part of Cookbooks 101.  Since proper preparation of kale is something I find hard to manage with four small children, I used a package of pre-prepped "Baby Kale", which was exactly the time saver I needed.  Incidentally, I also found a very similar recipe (but without the beans) inside the package...

In the end, I created a hybrid of the two recipes...

Pan-Fried Corona Beans with Baby Kale

  • 12 oz cooked Corona Beans
  • 11 oz pre-packaged "Baby Kale" (or equivalent washed/stemmed kale)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • oil for frying (olive or your choice)
  • salt, to taste

  1. Cook your Corona Beans (see above)
  2. Warm a skillet with oil.  Add beans in a single layer.  Cook 3-4 minutes then turn/stir to other side and cook 3-4 minutes more (beans will be slightly crispy).  (The 12 oz took two 12" skillet batches to fry.) Remove beans to side.
  3. Meanwhile, crush garlic cloves.
  4. Add another thin coating of oil to pan (or use another pan).  Once the pan is warm, add garlic for ~30-45 seconds.
  5. Add the entire 11oz of baby kale.  Cook until wilted.
  6. Add beans back to kale and mix, thoroughly. 
  7. Salt to taste.
  • Serves beautifully over rice.

Pan-frying the two batches of Corona Beans...

Wilting the kale with the garlic...

Add the pan-fried beans to the kale... 

Ready to serve... 

Plated with rice...

This was superb.  I will be placing an order for more Corona Beans this week.  I can no longer imagine not having them in my pantry.  This was one of the best dishes I've made in ages.  While I greatly enjoyed the Christmas Lima Beans from Week 3, this, I believe, is my new favorite bean!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Week 6: Marrow Beans

I took advantage of a delightful snow day to choose one of the beans I ordered from North Bay Trading Company for this week!  I have so many wonderful options in my box, I went with what my hand landed on...Marrow Beans.  Supposedly the fame of this particular bean is it tastes like bacon...I asked my husband if that was true and he said not so much, but they are tasty!

There were no particular recipes I found that spoke to me for Marrow Beans, so I sorted, soaked, and boiled them.  

They start out fairly small...

But plump up after soaking...

And, as expected, even more so after cooking...

Similar to when I made the Christmas Lima Beans in Week 3, I was not entirely certain what I was going to make with them yet, I decided to cook them plainly...after draining them from soaking overnight, I placed them in a pot, covered with a couple inches of water.  Brought them to a boil, then lowered the heat and they simmered ~2 hours, until soft.  I took them off the heat, added ~2 teaspoons of salt and let them sit ~10-15 minutes.  Finally, I drained them (reserving the liquid, as it was quite idea what will become of it yet).

After searching the internet for ideas, I went with simple.  It was not amazing, but I have some ideas that will make leftovers better.

Pasta, Marrow Beans & Arugula 

  • 12 oz cooked, drained pasta (I used cavatappi)
  • 3 cups cooked, well-drained, Christmas Lima Beans
  • 10-12 cloves garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Zima yellow grape tomatoes 
  • 4 oz fresh arugula
  • salt, to taste

  1. Cook pasta according to instructions on packaging. Set aside.
  2. Cook your Marrow Beans, plainly (see above)
  3. Peel and thinly slice garlic. 
  4. Warm oil in pot.  When warm, add sliced garlic and cook ~2-3 minutes.
  5. Add Marrow Beans and cook ~3-5 minutes.
  6. Add pasta, arugula and tomatoes.  Cook ~2 minutes.
  7. Salt to taste.

  • Needs lemon juice cooked in...added between point 5 & 6, above.

The beans were good, but not one I feel the need to rush to find again.  I prefer cannellini beans, personally.  But they're a creamier bean than I anticipated they'd be while cooking. 

Have a great week!