I know that sometimes my recipes can be long, complicated and call for a wide array of ingredients. But believe it or not sometimes I do like to keep it simple and nothing is simpler than Creamy White Beans and Ham. Especially when there is 7 inches of snow on the ground.
Creamy White Beans and Ham
1 Lb White Beans (Great Northern Beans)
1 Red Chile, thinly sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3-4 Cups Shredded Smoked Ham + Smoked Ham Hock
Salt and Black Pepper
Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Sort and rinse the dried beans, removing any discolored or shriveled beans. Soak the dried beans in 8 cups cold water for 6-8 hours.
Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large heavy pot with a lid. Add in the ham hock and the beans to the boiling water. Place a lid on the pot (slightly ajar) then reduce the heat low and cook for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed.
After 1 hour add in the chili pepper, garlic, shredded ham, black pepper (to taste) and 1½ Teaspoons Salt. (I use kosher sea salt). Continue to cook over low heat for Taste the beans after 15 minutes for seasoning and check to see if the beans are tender, if not quite done cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.