Sunday Supper: Creole Green Bean Stew

The beautiful weather has put me in the mood to cook. Fresh green beans were on sale, so I decided we needed some green bean stew. This is based on a recipe my sister-in-law makes for all family gatherings, but since I rarely follow a recipe, this is what I came up with:

As with all great cajun and creole food, first you make a roux. It's not at all hard. For this dish, I made a lighter version called a "butter roux". In a heavy soup pot, melt 3/4 cup Smart Balence and 1/4 cup olive oil over high heat. Stir in 1 cup flour until you have a paste. Continually stir the mixture until it starts to turn a medium golden-brown color. (You always want the roux to be a bit darker than you think you want because the finished gravy will look somewhat lighter.) Lower the heat a notch or 2.

Now add 1 medium yellow onion that has been chopped into small pieces. The roux will stop browning once you add the onions. Stir, until onions soften. Add 1 can fat-free chicken broth and stir until blended with the roux. Stir in 2 tbls. cajun seasoning (Zatarain's or Tony Chachere's) , 1 tbls Mrs. Dash, and 2 tbls garlic powder. Add 3 cans of water and bring to a light boil.

Add 10-12 new potatoes that have been cut into small chunks. Keep at a light boil, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Add 2-3 pounds of fresh string beans that have been trimmed and cut into 2" pieces. Add 1 package of Hormel real bacon chunks and return to a low boil. stir well, turn the heat down to simmering and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Test the potatoes - it may be ready to eat at this point, although I like to turn the heat down to the second lowest setting and let it barely simmer for another 15-30 minutes. I like this served over brown rice for the main course, but my husband, who likes meat at every meal, prefers this as a side dish.

Bon Appetit!
(This dish doesn't freeze well because of the potatoes, but tastes better as leftovers the next day.)

Bitsy BonTon's Roll of Approval

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