Cooking Louisiana  -  Snap Beans
Snap Beans are grown throughout South Louisiana so their appearance on the table is no surprise. In the traditional cooking style you will rarely find snap beans that are "al dente' (cooked but slightly firm). The beans are normally cooked down until they just begin to split apart. Coincidentally when fresh snap beans appear in the spring the new crop potatoes are being dug so you'll find these in the pot together.

Here is the simple traditional method that I use to cook them. This recipe will handle about 1/2 gallon of fresh beans.

Snap Beans1/2 gallon fresh snap beans
1 - 2" X 2" piece of salt meat.
1 med. onion chopped
2 medium new crop potatoes brushed and cubed to 3/4" X 3/4" pieces.
Cooking oil or bacon grease to just cover bottom of pot.
Pinch of garlic powder or one clove of fresh.
Small handful of fresh parsley
Salt (maybe) and fresh ground black or white pepper.
1/2 cup green onions.

Cube the salt meat in 1/2" X 1/2" pieces. Boil the meat in a few cups of water to remove excess salt, about 10 minutes. Remove and save the water.

Put oil in a pot and on a medium heat sauté the Onions and salt meat until they just start turning brown.

While this is happening brush the potato skins with a stiff kitchen brush and remove any blemishes. When potatoes are fresh you don't need to peel them because the skins are very thin and they actually add flavor to the dish.

After onions and meat are done add about a cup of water and stir, then add beans and pepper (no salt yet). Lower the fire to med-low, cover and cook until the beans are just starting to wilt a little stirring occasionally . Add the potatoes, green onions, parsley and garlic, stir and continue to cook covered. By the time the potatoes are done the beans should be done.

Taste and add salt as needed. Note: You may have to add water as the cooking progresses. When the beans are done you shouldn't have more than a 1/4 inch of water left in the pot.

Salt meat water: You can taste the water to see if it actually tastes good (a little meat flavor and a little salty). If it does you can add a little of this to the beans. I've seen where the water was actually bitter in which case you wouldn't want to use it.

You can use the same recipe for canned snap beans but they will take a little longer to cook and won't have the same "fresh" flavor.

This dish is usually served as side dish with pot roast or other main meat courses.