Monday, June 21, 2010

This Pan-Fried Butter Beans Recipe Only Sounds Unhealthy!

I can see where a recipe title with the words "fried" and "butter" appearing one after the other may scare a few people off, but there's no reason to be alarmed. This pan-fried butter beans recipe is delicious, super-easy, and yes, good for you.

These big, creamy legumes are just perfect for pan-frying. The thick skins get all crackly, and crusty, and will soak up whatever you decide to flavor them with. Here they get a very traditional treatment of salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs. A little vinegar at the end to balance things out, and you have a beautiful summer side dish.

I'm posting this while waiting for my flight back from the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, so we'll keep things nice and brief. Actually, now that I think about it, there's really not much more to say. So, I'll just finish with a little end-of-recipe advice.

This version is "dry," which is how I like these butter beans served, but if you want something a little moister, towards the end you can add freshly diced tomato, some broth, or even more oil olive and vinegar. Don't worry, you can't break this recipe…it's beans! Enjoy.




Ingredients for 2-4 servings:
1 can butter beans
3 tablespoons olive oil

garlic cloves as needed
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
couple sprigs of fresh herbs
1 tablespoon white wine or sherry vinegar

33 comments:

Marian said...

Can't wait to try this! It'll go great with my Southern fried corn and fried apples. Add some fried okra and I'll be in heaven.

Anonymous said...

cool. looks like a jose andres recipe especially with that garlic technique.

Rita said...

would that be good with some chopped bacon?

Chef John said...

Sure! What isn't?

Patrick said...

I remember asking you about this a while back with your cornish hen recipe and now you made a video! So awesome. Thanks for this one. Is Summer Savory something you can get at a garden store or a nursery to grow on your own? I've never found it (dry) in our markets around here (Tulsa) nor have I seen it live in the garden centers...

Great work and thanks for the videos.

Chef John said...

I found at nursery, but you can get seeds online. Thanks!

MoarPewPewPlz said...

Hey Chef John! Thanks for this recipe. I'm gonna try it as a side dish for my fam. Tink it'd go great with a little onion? Also, I don't know where to ask this...but I'm going for Culinary Arts, especially the Baking & Pastry part...do you know of any schools here in California who received good reviews and is a little cheap? I live around the central valley. Having a bit of a future crisis! I originally wanted to go to Vancouver, Canada and study there, but my family is forcing me to study here and only here. So I don't know what school is good and what isn't. I hear CCA is a bad school now and Institute of Technology is bad as well. I hope I'm not asking too much...decided to ask a real chef (which is you!) Thanks for understanding Chef John! You're the greatest. Please keep making more vids :]

Krista said...

Chef john, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your blog and Videos! I had my french toast *nearly* perfect until I watched your video on You tube. AWESOME!!!!! You are going to help me a a huge better cook! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Laura T. said...

What a lovely dish. I could see myself just eating this along with some crusty, grilled bread for a hearty meal.

Chef John said...

Thanks everyone!!

Moar, I don't like to give kind of advice, but check out SF City College program. Very well respected, affordable, and you get a real degree unlike the CCA (Currently not a fan of their program).

admin said...

This is something i will b trying tomorrow, looks nice and i have tins of butter beans in the cupboard just waiting for a recipe!

Chase Saunders said...

Butter beans? I had never heard of these. Wikipedia told me they are the same as lima beans. Oh.

Chef John said...

similar, but not the same. Butter beans are larger and tan. Lima beans are light green.

MoarPewPewPlz said...

Oh, I'm sorry Chef John. But I still appreciate you answering the question for me! Thanks again sir.

Ed C. said...

Chef,

What is your opinion on using some fresh lemon in place of vinegar. I'm not terribly fond of vinegar.

Thanks!

Chef John said...

lemon is perfect

Steve said...

Chef:

I usually try to avoid canned beans (or canned anything, except, maybe tomatoes) because the product usually has a load of salt in it.

Are there any reasonable alternatives to canned beans? I'm not on a low sodium diet but I try to avoid going overboard.

Any suggestions?

Chef John said...

not sure, prob any canned bean can be found dried, but never tried. relax and buy a can, you be fine! ;-)

Cook of the Line said...

There is a Middle East variation of this recipe, we enrich it with herbs, onion, tomato puree, etc.

Restaurants over here love it, because it is cheaply made, fast, and the baked beans can be kept in the fridge.

Dave said...

For those asking what they should do with dried lima beans

1) Soak them in a large quantity of water overnight
2) Rinse and drain them
3) Put them in a large pot with lots of water (1 cup of beans for 3 to 4 cup s of water)
4) Boil for approximately 30 to 40 mn making sure you don't end up with saggy beans. Remember, you'll still pan fry them so it's ok if they're still a little firm.

I really love this recipe. Instead of thyme and rosemary, I also used cilantro and mint and it worked beautifully!

Human Orchestra said...

I'm going to do this tonight since I'm running out of side dish ideas. I don't have fresh herbs or vinegar so I'll use lemon juice instead.

Leaving the garlic whole is interesting but I'll probably just use the garlic press and add it in in the last 2 minutes, then some dried herbs. I just hope the herbs don't blacken real fast but it shouldn't be a problem at medium low, probably even remove it from the heat and let it stand with them.

Should go great with that broiled salmon mustard rice vinegar glaze. I usually pan fry my salmon or en papillote, so I love new things.

You the best chef tony. Do you think any bean would work well with this recipe?

Chef John said...

thanks! but who is chef tony?

Human Orchestra said...

Wow, I must be pretty tired to mess that up, I feel like an ass now lol. I'm sorry John. Now, do you think this recipe would work well with most beans? I have pantry full but no butterbeans.

Chef John said...

no prob!! any firm beans will work, but bigger, better

Kahlan Nightwing said...

This tasted really good. They came out mushy, but I don't think I dried them enough. They still tasted wonderful! The vinegar really adds a kick. I omitted the red pepper cause I didn't have any.

Qrystal said...

I'm quite impressed with this recipe, for its ease and deliciousness. I'll definitely be seeking out butter beans again!

A few things I'll change next time: I'll drizzle the vinegar a little more carefully; I'll add a bit more oil, sooner, before too much of the skin crumbles away; and I'll know in advance that garlic is important and have some handy. (Garlic was missing from the ingredient list, though it was mentioned in the text above... but still, when it came up in the video, I was slightly unprepared. Fortunately, there was some I could snag from nearby.)

Thanks for sharing this preparation method! :)

Sarahfax said...

Hello Chef John! I am a big fan of your blog and this pan fried butter bean recipe has quickly become one of my favorites (I like sprinkling them sometimes with the breadcrumbs from the sandy beans recipe!) I have a question - in your photo, the beans look whole and, well, like beans. Mine never seem to come out that way - there are usually a few intact beans and the rest just sort of fall apart. It's still tasty, just... not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I try not to flip them too much, I'm not sure if it's temperature or time or the canned beans I use (Goya) or what. Any tips?

Chef John said...

probably the beans! try another brand. I don't remember what i used, maybe S&W.

Ela said...

Hello Chef John, nice one, this is a different recipie then what I normally would do with any beans.. I would also appreciate your tips on using microwave convection ovens especially to bake breads please. tks.

cookinmom said...

GOTTA try these with my garden beans...mmmm!

Spyce said...

Super easy and tasty. I used bacon and added a chopped tomato and basil. The possibilities here are tremendous. Thank you!

Chan said...

I just made this and I recommend to everyone who cooks this to double or triple the recipe, because they are amazing. I chopped the garlic and kept it in and I used Thyme and rosemary instead, but so delicious!!!!

Kimberly Robinson said...

Tastes really awesome with Jamaican curry with broccoli on the side and as a side. I didn't add the vinegar or acid and instead Of those herbs I added thyme and instead of the crushed peppers I added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, and it came out pretty great! Definitely will be making again.