Friday, January 15, 2010

Honey, there's a potluck tomorrow...

On Wednesday night at 8pm, my husband said, "Remember, the Ladies Aid is having a potluck at noon at church tomorrow. Are you coming?" Oh fiddlesticks, I forgot about that. What am I going to make? First of all, I really need to go. I'm the vicar's wife. Isn't that like mandatory? Second of all, if I'm going, I need to bring something I can eat (something without soy, and as I plan to explain in a later post, soy is in just about everything and hides under many guises) and I wasn't planning to ask every cook how they made their dish.

So I headed over to the pantry. What do I have... I have some dry red beans. Then I opened up a bean/legume cookbook my husband picked up from who knows where called "If You Don't Know Beans About Beans, Or Even If You Do..." put out by the St. Paul-Ramsey County Nutrition Program in 1983. Since I didn't have all the ingredients from a single recipe, I sort of mixed two recipes together and ta-da! Instant potluck dish.

Well, not so instant. The beans had to soak overnight, and then cook for nearly 2 1/2 hours the next morning. But it wasn't THAT labor intensive, at least not by my standards, and it didn't taste that bad, either. It won't go down in history as the best dish ever, but it's not a dog food dish either.

Salmon Bean Hotdish
  • 2 c. dry red beans (I used those because that's what I had, but you could probably use whatever you have in the pantry)
  • 2 T. whey, lemon juice, or vinegar
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Wild Alaskan Salmon (or a couple cans of tuna if that's what you have)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (I used a big handful of baby carrots because that's what I had. If I had celery in the fridge, I would've used that, too.)
  • 3 T. butter or oil
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. salt (or to taste)
  • dried parsley
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  1. Soak beans 12-24 hours in 4-5 c. of water and 2 T. whey. I started soaking them after supper Wed. night and started cooking them in the morning. It takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours, and you have to make sure there's always enough water in the pot.
  2. Towards the end of the bean cook time, saute the onion, carrot, and 1 1/2 T. of butter or oil in a pan, until soft.
  3. In another pot, put 1 1/2 T. butter to melt, then mix in the flour to make a paste. Slowly add the milk, while whisking. Add the salt, some parsley, and the cheese. This sauce will be poured over the beans when done cooking.
  4. Add in the sauteed carrots and onion to the beans and sauce. Add in the salmon. (Note: if the salmon is not deboned, just go thru it and mash with a fork to make sure the big parts of the spine are out. The rest of the bones can just be mashed in with the meat because they're so soft.
  5. If the dish seems too thick, feel free to add in some extra cream or milk.
And that's the dish. I quick put it in my hotdish carrying case, piled the boys into the van, and made it to the church exactly at noon. Whew!

Note about the beans: Soaking them is supposed to help make it more digestible, but I have to be frank with you... I didn't notice much of a difference (ie: GAS problems!). In the future I plan to try sprouting the beans to see if that helps. It will just require a few days more preparation.

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