Bean There, Done That

September 6th, 2012 § 0 comments

Now that autumn is rolling around, HG expects to see Cassoulet, the French casserole based around a mix of duck confit, sausage and beans on many restaurant menus. HG has dined on Cassoulet in many estimable Paris and New York restaurants. The dish sounds so good but, inevitably, HG is disappointed. In fact, the only really good Cassoulet HG ever enjoyed was prepared by his talented cousin, Wini Freund, in her Port Washington. L.I. kitchen. Deeply flavored, robust and rich, with every ingredient retaining integrity. The memory lingers on.

HG likes beans. They know how to handle them in Tuscany. In Florence, Steak Fiorentina cooked blood rare and gilded with great olive oil is usually accompanied by abundant, firm white beans with lots of that good olive oil, rosemary and plentiful garlic. HG replicates this dish in New Mexico with New York strip steak and Goya beans. HG has never liked Boston baked beans. Too sweet. Serving it with Boston brown bread just adds to the saccharine quality. The only cook who can do anything good with conventional Heinz or Campbell’s baked beans is BSK. The excellent woman adds lots of sauteed onions and ketchup to the mix (and a dash of Tabasco). Serves the beans with grilled Hebrew National all-beef frankfurters. Mustard pickles on the side. A -once-in-a-while, funky, teen age, down home treat.

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