I have been a supporter of the James Beard Fellows Program which assists in the training and professional development for talented emerging chefs.
Each Fellow has a ten-week residency at the James Beard House in New York City where they receive hard skills training along with the opportunity to develop a meal kit that is available across the country.
This month, Philly native Chef Tonii Hicks developed a delicious-sounding menu of Sweet Potato Croquettes with Green Curry Sauce, Blackened Cod with Lima Bean Risotto, and Apple Butter Sticky Buns.
The meal kit can be ordered here now through September 13, 2022. The monthly Beard Box meal kit for two is shipped overnight. This month’s box will arrive on September 28, 2022. The portions are generous, and it is a delight to experience the emerging chefs’ creativity while supporting the James Beard Foundation.
Unfortunately, due to timing, I won’t be able to purchase the Beard Box this month. But that Blackened Cod with Lima Bean Risotto sounded just too awesome. So… I had to try my version of it right away with my Rockfish on hand. And it was fabulous. It was a harmony of beautiful colors, various textures, bold bright flavors. Thank you and brava, Chef Tonii! I am sure your Beard Box will be a huge success!
Whether one has over-indulged over the holidays or not, Chicken Soup with Lima Beans is perfect for the New Year. The soup is light and lemony, but definitely rich enough to satisfy. It’s chock-full of vegetables and protein, plus it is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than traditional chicken noodle soup.
The secret to its greatness is creamy-buttery large white lima beans from Rancho Gordo that cook up beautifully smooth and tender. They taste more like fresh vegetables than other beans.
Bean Lover’s Gift Box
I’m looking forward to sharing many more bean recipes this year on Taste With The Eyes! My gift box included Black Eyed Peas (recipe here), Christmas Limas, White Limas, Yellow Eye, Pozole, and Classic Cassoulet Beans plus a wonderful book, French Beans by Georgeanne Brennan.
Smashed Cucumber Salad with Garlic Scented Lima Beans
Fennel, Feta, Mint, Oregano, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil
Cool-crisp Persian cucumbers and creamy-buttery lima beans make a delightful summer duo. Fennel adds a bright crunch with a sweet, nutty anise flavor.
The large limas by Lompoc Beans are sold at our local Torrance Farmers Market. They are also available online. Grown in Santa Barbara County, the beans cook up beautifully smooth and tender.
Soak 2 cups of beans in water for 4 1/2 hours then drain. Place beans in a pot and add fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 4 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, cook uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Cook al dente (soft but not mushy), taste a few beans for doneness. Drain. Set aside to serve at room temperature.
It’s a fun salad to compose. Put cucumber chunks in a roomy ziplock bag and smash with a mallet. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle fruity olive oil into the bag. Add shaved fennel and toss the bag to coat the veggies with the dressing. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
Wild-Caught Alaskan Cod, Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans
Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Onion
Meyer Lemon, White Wine, Olive Oil, Oregano
Here are two of my favorite frozen foods in one dish: Cod from the freezing cold clear waters of Alaska and Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans from California.
This one-skillet dinner is a variation of one of my most popular, Alaskan Cod/Mediterranean Flavors. Here, I replace artichokes with Fordhook Lima Beans – those delicious pale green, plump, plush succulent legumes.
I use the PictSweet Farms Lima Beans, “The Fordhook variety of Lima Beans was introduced in California in 1904. This variety requires warm days and cool nights to develop their large, firm bean with award-winning texture.”
Unlike my siblings, I’ve always been a huge fan of huge beans. Ever since I was a kid, I loved how my Nana would cook dried Lima Beans in her chicken soup. I adored those big velvety butter beans. I add them to my chicken soup now too, but cook them separately so the broth stays clear.
Lemony Alaskan Cod, Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans Recipe
Homemade Chicken Soup with Herbed Matzoh Balls Garlic-Scented Lima Beans, Micro-Thin Carrot Slices Fine Egg Noodles, Hand-Shredded Roasted Chicken Breast Fresh Parsley and Dill Garnish
This soup is dedicated to my Nana. I thank her for inspiring me with a life-long passion to explore the cuisine of our heritage. Year after year, I tweak her original chicken soup recipe. This one, prepared in celebration of the High Holy Days (5772 on the Hebrew calendar) resulted in one of the best versions ever. The matzoh balls were light and fluffy, the garlic-scented lima beans added heft, the flavorful broth was beautifully clear and just barely rich. Delicate fine egg noodles and colorful carrots balanced out the dish.
My paternal Grandparents – Irving and Fanny Hirsch (front center)
Careful attention to each component is what makes it special. This soup uses two birds, one for making the broth, the other is roasted – the breast meat shredded and added just before serving. From the double-strained flavorful broth with the tiniest amount of schmaltz droplets providing a hint of richness, to the elegantly sliced carrots (I was never of fan of a floating carrot log), to the garlicky-creamy beans – I am certain my Nana would have approved.