Serves 8.

Note: Adapted from Lena Richard’s “New Orleans Cook Book,” which is featured in “The Jemima Code.” Slow cooking will transform the texture of the beans from firm to “gloriously mushy” in 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

• 2 c. dried red beans

• 8 c. (2 quarts) water

• 1 large onion, diced

• 1 green pepper, cored, seeded, diced

• 1/2 lb. ham shank, smoked or fresh

• 3 tbsp. shortening

• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 1/2 tsp. salt

• Pepper to taste

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


Soak beans overnight in a large pot or bowl in enough water to cover by 2 inches. Drain. (You can skip the soaking, if you like, but the beans will need to cook about 30 minutes longer.)

Pour the beans into a large pot along with the 8 cups water; add onion, green pepper, ham, shortening, garlic and bay leaf. Heat to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, with the lid slightly askew, until beans are soft, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

With 10 minutes of cooking time remaining, add salt and pepper. Just before ready to serve, add parsley; taste and adjust for seasonings.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 211 Fat 6 g Sodium 625 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 1 g Protein 13 g Cholesterol 8 mg Dietary fiber 9 g


Serves 6.

Note: This recipe from Freda DeKnight’s “A Date With a Dish” is featured in “The Jemima Code.” While the recipe is given in standard cookbook fashion, DeKnight follows it with suggestions for modifying the recipe or gussying it up for a party. Although DeKnight admonishes cooks not to cover the pan, it works fine to cook rice in a covered Dutch oven.

• 1 small onion, chopped

• 1 small green pepper, chopped

• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp. celery, chopped

• 3 tbsp. butter or bacon fat

• 1 c. whole-grain brown rice

• 1/3 c. tomato sauce or 3 tbsp. paste

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. paprika

• 2 c. boiling water


Sauté onion, pepper, garlic and celery in the butter or bacon fat in a heavy skillet. (Do not allow to brown.)

When tender, add unwashed rice. Stir until well mixed and all grains are semi-fried. Add tomato sauce or paste, salt and paprika, and 2 cups boiling water. Stir until well mixed. Do not cover [see Note]. Cook over a very low heat until rice is dry, light and fluffy, about 50 minutes. Grains should be whole and firm. (If it is necessary to stir when adding water, use a fork. Refrain from stirring, if possible.)

Variations: Crushed salted almonds or diced stuffed olives make this a glamorous party dish. (A bit of thyme or a bay leaf, cooked in the sauce, adds a spicy taste.)

Some folks like rice dry and some plenty of sauce. These things have to be worked out to suit your own family taste, which only you can determine. But wet or dry, a Spanish sauce simply does things to plain rice and brightens up the meal!

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 182 Fat 7 g Sodium 465 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 4 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 15 mg Dietary fiber 3 g