Is white the new red, or is red the new white? Either way, this takes a family staple that I grew up with (Red Beans and Rice) and reverses it. Giant Peruvian Limas are like butter and cream, only healthier. I like this dish with a char-grilled jalapeño pepper sausage, but it also works well with ham, tasso, pickled pork, smoked turkey legs or no meat at all. The humble bean (dried) certainly has a lot of differing opinions on cooking methods: stovetop vs. oven vs. pressure cooker vs. slow cooker, and salting: no salt, salt brine, salt from the onset of cooking. There's even a thread on the Hotline on this subject, probably many, that is most entertaining and shows great humor from contributors. —Chef Lisa
- Serves 6-8
Dried Giant Peruvian Limas
Each, diced yellow onion, diced celery, diced bell pepper
Water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
Chopped flat leaf parsely
Finely grated Yukon Gold potato
Whole milk or light cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil, I use rendered bacon fat
Hickory smoked japaleno sausage
- Place the dried beans in a colander and rinse well. Discard any debris. Place the beans in a large, heavy Dutch oven or saucepan. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the beans by several inches, keeping in mind that the beans will double or even triple in size during the soaking process. Remove any beans that do not sink to the bottom. Add 1/8 cup course salt and stir. Cover the beans and soak overnight at room temperature.
- The next day, drain the brining liquid and rinse the beans once more. Return the beans to the saucepan and cover again with cool water. Cover the beans with a lid and place it in the refrigerator up to 12 hours.
- In a skillet over medium low heat, sweat the onions first, then add the celery, bell pepper and finally the garlic. Take it off the heat and set aside.
- Remove the beans from the fridge and drain the cold water. Place the beans back in the saucepan and cover the beans in the cooking liquid (water or stock). This will take about 6-8 cups, making certain the beans are covered by a couple of inches. Add the bay leaves, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of course salt. On the stove top, very slowly, bring the beans to the boil. During the cooking process, if additional liquid is needed, add cold liquid, 1/2 cup at a time. If foam should appear, skim it off and continue cooking. (If foam does appear, lower the heat slightly)
- Once to the boil, reduce heat to medium low and add the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic mixture. Cover and continue to cook while you prepare the rice and sausage. Continue to check to make certain that the beans continue to have about 2" of liquid during the cooking process. The beans will take 1-2 hours to be tender.
- When the beans are tender, reduce the heat to low. Remove one cup of the beans from the pot. You will now make a slurry out of the cup of beans, grated potato and milk by placing it in a blender until liquefied. Pour this into the beans and continue cooking for another 15 minutes on low heat. Add a splash of pepper vinegar. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired. The beans are now ready.
- For the sausage: Cut the sausage in half, lengthwise. Place it one the grill and grill until a good char is obtained. You can either cut it into bite sized pieces and add it directly to the beans or larger portions served on top of the beans after plating.
- For the rice: Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the rice and water (or stock) in a medium saucepan and bring it to the boil. Once to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and cook until the liquid is absorbed; this is be about 30 minutes.
- To plate: Serve in individual bowls. Put the beans in first. Mold the rice and place directly in middle of the beans. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and if service individual portions of sausage, place on the side of the rice.
- If you wish, serve with a simple green salad, a baguette or even corn bread.