What do you do when you have 250 gr of giant white beans and 250 gr of normal medium sized white beans and neither of them are enough to feed 4 people??
Mix them up, soak them overnight and cook them as if they were one kind. Yep! These are hard times and you have to do good with what's on hand. The only thing is that you have to boil them until the giant ones are cooked (logical) never mind if the smaller ones get overcooked causing them to become like a puree. So you basically have the giant beans swimming in a thick fluid of small beans. The dish, by the way, turned out delicious and had many compliments from our guest. I would love to share with you this necessary experiment of mine.
I have therefore used:
Served 4 as an only dish and were satisfied.
- 250 gr giant white beans + 250 gr normal sized medium white beans (soaked together overnight).
- 600 gr country cocktail sausages (small baby sausages).
- 1 thinly sliced leek. to cook the sausages in.
- ½ bunch of celery leaves, washed and roughly cut.
- 10 sun-dried tomatoes cut in small pieces.
- 6 cloves of garlic passed through the garlic press.
- 1 onion thinly sliced and separated into rings.
- 1½ cups frozen baby carrots, thawed. (Had no fresh carrots and that's because my local store did not have any when I went last!).
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil to fry the garlic, onions etc.
- 1 cube beef-stew.
- 3 dashes of Worcestershire Lea & Perrins Sauce.
- Salt, and pepper.
- Some olive oil to fry the sauges in
The purpose here is to have the giant beans nice and tender and the small beans falling apart. In fact this is an experiment which succeeded. We therefore can cook giant and small beans together.
- Put the beans mixed together in pot, cover with cold water, bring to boil, add the beef-stew cube stir, turn down heat to a simmer and let cook stirring occasionally until the giant beans are cooked with a slight crunch to them. Don't worry about the small beans.
- When you see that the water is getting dangerously low, add a couple cups of boiling water or enough to cover the beans again.
- When done turn off heat and strain. Keep the liquid and set the beans aside.
Note: If you leave the liquid standing undisturbed long enough for about 2 hours, when you decant it you will see a thickish sediment which you can throw away if you don't want all that to convert into diabetes.
- In the same pot you boiled the beans in, (you can wash if you wish to get rid of all that stuff stuck on the walls) heat the oil on high heat.
- Add the onions, stir fry till they become soft and transparent.
- Add the pressed garlic and stir fry till that fantastic aroma reaches you (by moving your hand over the pot).
- Add the frozen carrots and the celery leaves and sautee with the rest for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the beans, stir, mix, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the saved liquid from boiling the beans if that is not enough to cover the beans, then add some boiling water to cover.
- Reach a boil. Turn down heat to minimum and let simmer with the cover half opened till the giant beans are nice and soft and don't worry about the small beans.
- Turn off the heat, keep covered.
About the Country Cocktail Sausages:
- Saute the thinly sliced leek with the country sausages until they are soft. Keep on eating one until they are just right!! (I am joking). In fact I would be terribly flattered if you do or do not laugh at this joke because it would mean that you have read till here!!
- Watch out not to darken the leek too much.
Just before serving, add the sausages and leek to the beans and mix well. Try to keep any grease from the sausages from falling into the beans.
Serve with a ladle and a white wine of your choice.