The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creole White Beans and Pork

The Year of Bessemer Food

Today I debut The Year of Bessemer Food. The Birmingham News is running weekly columns titled The Year of Alabama Food in "City Scene." I decided that Bessemer Opinions needed to promote cooking, so I will be sharing recipes, some original, some borrowed, that make my family and friends happy. My columns will be random, weekly at times, but not always.

It may seem odd introducing this so soon after Paula Deen has announced her Type 2 diabetes. Let me editorialize here just a bit, and say I support Paula Deen and that people have no right judging her for how she handled her diagnosis and her livelihood. "In moderation," she urges, regarding her casseroles and cakes.

I urge the same, as I begin this series with a type of comfort food; beans and cornbread.

Creole White Beans with Pork

1# dry white beans
1 – 1 ½ # thin cut pork chops or other pork
Creole seasoning*
1 medium onion, chopped
3 or 4 green onions, chopped, including tops
1 tsp Kosher salt
½  cup Worcestershire sauce

Wash beans, then boil in 6-8 cups of water for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Coat pork chops with Creole seasoning.

Place seasoned pork in bottom of crock pot, with a few chopped onions between pieces to allow for circulation of juices. Add remainder of onions, green onions, beans Kosher salt, 1 tsp of Creole seasoning and Worcestershire sauce and enough water to cover beans.

Cook on high for 3 ½ to 4 hours, then on low for 2 more hours. Crock pots vary so check doneness and adjust times accordingly.

*Note: You know your preferences. Adjust seasonings to taste. I make my own Creole seasoning mixture; I'll share that someday.

Serving suggestion: Garnish with shredded cheese (your choice) and fresh parsley and serve with hot cornbread. 

A note about cornbread. I have several recipes that I use but one of the favorites is Cracklin' Cornbread by John Besh. (This is not the cornbread in the picture).
3 T bacon fat (I use pecan oil or other vegetable oil)
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 t salt
2 T baking powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2 T butter, melted
1/2 cup pork cracklins

Put the oil in 9" cast iron skillet, preheat oven to 425 and slide skillet in.

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, mix eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir into dry ingredients, fold in cracklins.

Carefully remove hot skillet, swirl to coat bottom and sides with oil, and pour batter into skillet.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

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