By Barbara Beltrami
I don’t know what the time between this writing and its publication will bring, and given recent events, I’m worried. However, my stubborn faith in our democracy and Constitution and a resolution to celebrate the Inauguration and all it stands for inspires this column bearing recipes from a few government sources. Most famous and ubiquitously published is the Navy Bean Soup served in one of the Senate restaurants. Then there’s the late Representative John Lewis’s recipe for Barbecued Chicken and White House Chef (1966-1987) Henry Haller’s popular Cooked Vegetable Salad.
Senate Navy Bean Soup
YIELD: Makes 8 servings
1 pound dried navy beans, picked over
1 pound ham, with bone
2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Put beans in large pot with 3 times their volume in water and put in a cool place to soak overnight. Drain and transfer to a large Dutch oven; add 10 cups water and ham; bring to simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook 1 1/2 hours, until beans are tender. Transfer ham to cutting board to cool, then remove bone, cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to pot.
Meanwhile place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with salted water, bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 25 minutes; drain, mash and add to beans and ham and stir to combine thoroughly. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add onion, celery, garlic and parsley; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are translucent; add to bean mixture and cook over low heat, adding water if needed, season with salt and pepper and cook one hour. Serve hot with a crispy, crunchy salad.
Rep. John Lewis’s Barbecued Chicken
YIELD: Makes 4 servings
2 cups ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 frying chicken, cut up or equivalent chicken pieces
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, cayenne, pepper and onion. Put chicken parts in greased 9 x 13” baking pan; spread sauce over chicken; bake for one hour, basting chicken with juices halfway through. Serve hot or warm with rice, potato salad or sweet potatoes and a green salad.
White House Chef Henry Haller’s Vegetable Salad
YIELD: Makes 4 servings
2 cups tiny green peas, cooked, drained, cooled
2 cups diced carrots, cooked, drained, cooled
2 cups diced celery
1 cup peeled and cored diced apple
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup mayonnaise
In large bowl combine vegetables with celery and apple, salt and pepper. Add mayonnaise and toss lightly with a fork. Serve with soft rolls and butter.