Butter Bean Season

You know what I mean Butter bean?

Just another busy day for me and one that demanded an easy dinner…

Finally, fresh butter beans at the farm stand and perfect timing as I am running seriously low cooking on 2 of my last three pounds from last year. With company coming running low is not an option as we can go through butter beans like crazy since some of our kids cannot find them in the far western states. So today with a loaded cooking menu for the weekend to prepare for summer family visitors I will make a pot of beans to have with our pork cutlets tonight.

I am not a huge fan of a lot of smoked bacon that delivers a heavily smoked taste like ham hock to dishes, but I can handle a lightly smoked applewood quality bacon and TJ’s “Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon” the thin cut is one of my happy places as far as smoked bacon go and I even cut the amount of that when using it in my recipes especially in fresh delicate butter beans.

Around here I prefer pancetta as my go-to “bacon” for just about any dish that calls for bacon…so with that said use your favorite pork if you can tolerate lots of smokey flavors.

YaYa’s butter beans…

2 pounds fresh butter beans
4.5-5 ounces diced pancetta (I buy a chunk for several uses and cube it myself)
4 tablespoons butter 2 for the pot and 2 to melt over finished beans
2 teaspoons EVOO to render the pancetta in
1 medium Vidalia onion diced
a pinch of red pepper flakes
pepper and salt…use sparingly or season in the end as some bacon can be really salty and I don’t use a lot of salt in my cooking.

If you like crispy crunches of pancetta as a garnish be sure to render and crisp extra…
Render the pancetta slowly in the EVOO, not super crispy. Toss in the diced onions and they will sizzle in the hot fat, stir for a minute or then slowly add a little broth to deglaze the pan. Add the butter, seasonings, and pour in the rest of the chicken stock. Today’s pot of 2 pounds of beans cooked for 1+1/2 hours, tasting every 20 or so for tenderness.

Scoop the beans into a serving bowl and top with 2 tablespoons of butter…

Extra Thin Pork CutletsPepper

For my very thin cutlets, I season then on both sides with salt, pepper, and a bit of rubbed sage. Place on a piece of plastic wrap big enough to fold over on the cutlet. Place 1 cutlet at a time on the plastic, lightly pound with your hand a couple of times (yes the cutlets were that 1/4″ thin) attach a piece of capicola with a toothpick and gently pound a gain. Set aside and continue with the other cutlets.

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a sauté pan and melt in a tablespoon of butter. Sauté cutlets over medium high heat capicola side down until crisp, about a minute, turn and sauté for another minute and 1/2 if the cutlet are very thin, thicker cutlets will take a bit longer.

Remove to warm serving platter and make the sauce…I used about 1/2-3/4 chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and slightly reduce the pan sauce. Add a tablespoon of capers and swirl in another 1+1/2 tablespoons of butter.

Pour sauce over cutlets…sop up the sauce with warm garlic bread or garlic knots…Mangia