53. STRING BEANS IN BUTTER.--String beans, which, of course, include wax beans, may be served with a sauce of some kind, but they are very appetizing when merely drained after cooking and served with melted butter.
To prepare beans in this manner, wash the desired amount, remove the ends and strings, if necessary, and cut into inch lengths. Cook until they are tender and then pour off the water. Add 1 tablespoonful of butter for each four persons to be served, a dash of pepper, and, if they are not salty enough, a little more salt. Allow the butter to melt and serve the beans hot.
54. STRING BEANS WITH SALT PORK.--Those who like the flavor of salt pork will find string beans cooked with a small piece of this meat very appetizing. Besides improving the flavor, salt pork supplies the beans with fat, a food substance in which they are very low.
After washing the beans that are to be cooked in this way, remove the ends and strings, but do not cut into inch lengths. Put the whole beans to cook in boiling water and add 1/4 pound of pork for a sufficient amount of beans for four persons. Cook until the beans are tender, and serve with the pork without removing from the liquid.
55. CREAMED STRING BEANS.--Perhaps the most popular way in which to prepare string or wax beans is to cream them. Not only an appetizing dish, but one whose food value is increased, is the result. The cream sauce served with the beans may be made entirely of milk, but a very satisfactory sauce can be made by using half milk or cream and half liquid in which the beans were cooked. To prepare creamed beans, clean the beans in the usual way and cut them into inch lengths. Put them to cook in boiling salted water and cook until they may be easily pierced with a fork. Pour off the water, but keep it to use in the dressing. To dress a sufficient quantity of beans for four persons, a sauce should be made as follows:SAUCE FOR CREAMED STRING BEANS
- 1 Tb. butter
- 1 Tb. flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/3 c. rich milk or cream
- 1/3 c. liquid from beans
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, salt, and pepper. Pour in the heated liquids and stir until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly cooked. Add the sauce to the beans, heat together, and serve.
56. STRING BEANS WITH SOUR DRESSING.--A dish having an entirely different flavor from those already explained is produced when beans are served with a sour dressing.
To prepare beans in this way, clean a sufficient number according to the directions already given and cut them into inch lengths. Cook them in boiling salted water until they are tender. Pour off the water, but retain 1/2 cupful for the dressing. Make the following sauce, which will dress a sufficient quantity of beans for four persons:SOUR DRESSING
- 2 Tb. ham or bacon fat
- 1 Tb. flour
- 1/4 c. vinegar
- 1/2 c. liquid from beans
Melt the fat in a double boiler, add the flour, and into this stir the vinegar and the liquid from the beans. Cook until the mixture thickens and pour over the beans. Reheat and serve.
57. VARIETIES AND FOOD VALUE OF SHELL BEANS.--When beans have matured on the vines to such an extent that the pods are no longer tender enough for human consumption, they are picked and the seeds then used for food. Some are picked before the seeds have entirely matured, and these, which must be young enough to contain considerable moisture, are cooked fresh; others are allowed to mature entirely and are then dried before they are cooked. After being dried, beans keep indefinitely and require no care in storage except that they must not become moist. Numerous varieties of both fresh and dried shell beans are in use, including navy, marrowfat, pinto, and Lima beans.
58. Fresh shell beans average about three times as much food value as string or wax beans. Most of this is carbohydrate in the form of starch, but they also contain considerable protein. Dried shell beans, which are entirely different in flavor and texture from fresh ones, contain still more nutriment, their food value being more than twice that of fresh shell beans and over four times that of potatoes. In the entirely matured bean, which, as has already been mentioned, belongs to the class of vegetables called legumes, the high food value is due to the high percentage of starch and the large amount of protein in the form of legumin, a substance that is an important substitute for other more expensive protein foods. This composition reveals at once the fact that dried shell beans make an excellent food, provided some fat is added to them in their preparation.