Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable.”

Quote by: Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

I love this recipe because it is so simple, and I know that I am putting a healthy dish on the table. This is a quicker version of the old fashioned Ham Hocks and Lima beans that grandma used to dish up. I have found that no matter how simple or complex the pallet, this is a sure pleaser. Now, if you don't think you like Lima beans, give them a try again (many people do not like the green version found in frozen mixed vegetables or canned soups). If you are on the fence about whether or not you like them then read this:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=59 If you are positive that you don't like Lima beans, then try using great northern beans. You can class this recipe up by adding some fried bacon to it or any vegetables you like. I have found, that leaving this recipe in it's simpler state is best. It is warm and comforting and extremely filling. When I wanted to take a picture of it after dinner, I found the pot to be empty...so unfortunately, you don't get to see the finished product. It pretty much looks the same as below, but a little less liquid. On the subject of the liquid, if you are a broth person, you might want to simmer it with the lid on or add a bit more broth. I personally like it when the beans absorb all of the broth and there is just enough liquid left to sop up the bottom of your bowl with some good Tuscan bread. I hope that you enjoy it!

Oh by the way...if you want to make this in a crock pot, it will work out great. It will be much juicier. I would cook it on medium for about four hours or low for six.


1 package dry Lima beans
1 box or 4 cups chicken stock
2 large carrots, peeled and cut
2 large celery stalks, cut
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine or olive oil
15 oz stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup ham, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

Before you go to bed, the night before, fill a large pot with six cups cold water and soak the Lima beans in it.

In the morning, strain and rinse the beans.
In a large pot, melt the butter/margarine/olive oil, and saute the onion, garlic, carrot and celery together until the onion is translucent.

Next add the Lima beans and season with salt, ground pepper and thyme. Add chicken stock and tomatoes.

Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Add the ham, and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan and serve with crunchy, fresh bread.

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