At market today...heaps of wonderful spring goodies. One hidden secret are dried pinto and horto beans from Flyte Family Farm. These are high quality locally grown beans that make fantastic main or side dishes. Try them out with some local pasture raised organic ham hocks for a yummy meal the whole family will enjoy.
Some tips on preparing dried beans, which are loaded with protien and nutrients...soak the beans for 8 hours or overnight, then rinse. If using 1 lb dried beans cover with 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes then turn off the pot, skim off excess foam and cover. Let stand for 1 hour before draining and rinsing and using in your recipe. The rinsing and draining are very important because beans let off gasses that are not easily digested and can cause stomach discomfort for some. At this point they will be similar in texture to those you purchase in the can from the grocery store. Do not salt the beans during the above process, as it will cause the beans to be tough.
Here's a recipe for easy pork and beans using ham hocks.
1-2 smoked ham hocks
water to cover all
1-2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 medium tomatoes, diced
1-2 tbsp hot chili sauce
1 lb fresh rinsed, chopped greens-mustard or collard work well (optional)
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 2-4 hours, or until ham is falling off the bones. Remove the bones from the pot and shred the ham with forks. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and cook over simmer for 1-2 hours. Serve with crispy french bread or garlic bread to soak up the broth. Great leftovers as the flavors improve after sitting a day or two.