Jumping Beans

Well, not really, but they are yummy beans. I have to begin by telling you that I’m not intimately acquainted with white or navy beans. We just don’t have these in Panama, at least *I* didn’t have them. We have the prepared cans of pork & beans, which I believe are made with these, but that’s it.

I had never really seen them until I saw Martha Stewart cook them down and add mussels to it. I was so intrigued by the recipe that I had to try it and ended up loving the beans. I’ve made them since, but rarely, and always as a base for something seafood.

Considering how much I’ve enjoyed these little beans, I’ve been trying to add them more and more often to my repertoire. Hence this pot o’beans. I made them the same way I make all my beans, and WOW. Why did I wait so long?!

No need for a recipe here, let the beans move you.

White Beans a la Latina

White / Navy beans
Bay leaves
Bacon, diced
Onions, finely chopped
Cilantro, finely chopped
Sea salt & black pepper

Rinse and soak the beans in hot water for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse again before putting them into a medium size pan. Add 1-2 whole cloves of garlic, peel and all, and 1-2 bay leaves and 1-2 slices of bacon. Cover with water and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat until the water comes to a hard simmer. Cook for about an hour, or until the beans are fork tender.

*Note: Do not add salt to your beans before they soften, season them after they are tender.

In a small skillet, cook the bacon to render the fat, it doesn’t have to be crisp. Add the onions and cilantro, cook them until the onions have soften and are translucent.

Once the beans have cooked, drain some of the liquid reserving just enough to see some just under the top of the beans. Depending on the amount of beans you cooked, this would be close to 1 cup of liquid. Discard the bay leaves and add the bacon & onion mixture. Bring it to a simmer, check the seasoning and adjust with salt & pepper. Simmer it for another 10 minutes or so before serving.

We served these alongside some lamb & rice.

I hope you enjoy it too!
Cookingly yours,

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