One of my favorite farmers market discoveries is bird egg shell beans. Cooked with bacon, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and a little butter, these beans make a truly wonderful side dish.
Look for long green or yellow bean pods tinged with pink spots and streaks. Inside, the creamy colored beans are also streaked with pink accents.
Start by shelling the beans - the pods will open under gentle pressure and the beans will pop right out.
You'll also need some chopped bacon (I like the thick kind), water, diced onions, salt, pepper, minced jalapeno, and minced garlic.
In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon. No need to add oil to the pan, the bacon will render its own fat.
When the bacon is brown and the bottom of the skillet has developed a nice layer of "fond" (the brown bits stuck to the pan), remove the bacon, keeping the rendered bacon fat in the pan.
That fond equals lots of great flavor.
Add the onion, jalapeno, and salt & pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions turn translucent.
Then add the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes until very fragrant.
See how all the fond has released from the bottom of the pan? It's now flavoring the onions and garlic.
Add the water, beans, and cooked bacon to the pan.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 30-40 minutes until the beans are tender.
Uncover beans when tender and continue simmering and stirring every few minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated.
Turn off the heat and stir in a little butter.
Serve hot. Enjoy!
Bird Egg Shell Beans
makes 6 servings
- 1 pound shelled bird egg beans
- 1/4 pound thick bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is brown; remove bacon and keep drippings in pan.
- In the same skillet, saute onion, jalapeno, and S&P in rendered bacon fat, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, then add garlic and saute for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add beans, water, and reserved bacon to skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until beans are tender.
- Remove cover and increase heat to medium, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed; add butter and stir until melted.
- Taste carefully and add more salt if needed (I need to add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt).