Beans for da Bowl? 2 hearty recipes that will also help take the chill off

marcy jiminez, mackenzie williams, lima bean festival, brownies

People come up with some amazing ideas using beans at the annual Lima Bean Festival. Marcy Jimenez and Mackenzie Willkins created brownies. (Want more bean ideas? Contact the San Dieguito Heritage Museum.) (Photo by Laura Groch)

Gray day in SoCal today, so in solidarity with our East Coast br-r-r-ethren, I think some warming foods are in order. Here are a couple of winners from the 2014 Lima Bean festival, held in September at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum in Encinitas. For the past several years, I’ve been honored to help with the judging (yes, I work cheap) of this boisterous, fun event.

Both recipes are hearty enough for chilly weather, and both would make fine additions to your Super Bowl table (you are planning more than chips and dip, right?).

BTW, if you’ve never visited the museum, or attended the festival, I can recommend both as enjoyable family activities. Every weekend from noon to 4 p.m., the museum has a family craft related to history (in December, it was making paper poinsettias; for January, it’s learning to make soap). And the September festival offers music, raffles, museum tours and of course, all the lima- and other bean-based recipes you’d care to sample. Visit http://www.sdheritage.org or call 760-632-9711.

Cooking instructor Mary "Cooking With Klibs" Dralle was among those exhibiting bean ideas. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Cooking instructor Mary “Cooking With Klibs” Dralle was among those exhibiting bean ideas. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Giant Baked Beans (Rita Petino)

1 pound large lima beans, cooked and drained (see note)

3/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 yellow onion, sliced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill 

3/4 teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups crushed tomatoes

1 cup water

Heat a medium size pot or frying pan; add oil and saute onions with dill, salt, pepper and paprika.

When onions are soft and edges are brown, add crushed tomatoes and one cup of water and cook for a few more minutes until thoroughly mixed.

Put beans in a 9-inch-by-12-inch glass or stoneware baking dish and top with sauteed onion mixture. A little more water may need to be added to the tomato sauce so that beans are totally covered.

Bake in middle rack at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until beans are cooked and the sauce is absorbed.

Yield: 6 or more servings

Laura’s Note: Dried lima beans, like other dried beans, must be presoaked before cooking. Cheap way: Sort them (i.e., make sure there are no tiny pebbles or bits of grit), rinse them, cover them with water in a pot and let them soak overnight. Drain and use in recipe as directed. In this case, cover with fresh water, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer until beans are cooked.

More expensive way (it uses more energy): Sort, rinse, cover with water in a pot and heat to boiling. Let boil for 2 minutes (but don’t let beans boil over); turn off heat and let beans stand for 1 hour. Then drain and use in recipe as directed.

White Chicken Chili With Lima Beans (Kristyn Otto)

1 whole store-bought roasted chicken 

7 cups of water

2 large onions

2 fresh ears of corn

2 pasilla peppers

1 can diced tomatoes, drained 

1 cup cooked lima beans

1 teaspoon cumln

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup flour

1 cup cream

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cilantro

Salt and pepper

Hot sauce

Remove chicken meat from bones. Set aside meat; do not discard bones.

In a large stock pot, add water and bones, with one chopped onion; boil for one hour.

In the meantime, grill peppers and corn. Remove skin from peppers as well as seeds and cut corn from cob. Dice peppers, second onion and cilantro.

Remove bones from stock pot and discard bones; strain out onions. To broth, add corn, peppers, tomatoes, diced onion, lima beans and seasonings. Bring to a boil for 30 minutes.

In small bowl, whisk together flour with cream and sour cream, and add to boiling stock, stirring well. Add diced chicken and cilantro. Season with salt pepper and hot sauce to taste; simmer 15 minutes. Dinner is done.

(c) Copyright 2015 Laura Groch

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