Chef News

Natalie Morris on Giving Up Good Food Finder and Her Upcoming Bean Book

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What's the most interesting thing you've learned about beans so far? This comes with a little bit of convenient pride. Fenugreek, one of my absolute favorite spices, is in the bean family. I just love the flavor of fenugreek; I've never had anything with it that I didn't like. To know that it belongs in the same category as another one of my favorite things makes me so proud. And, it also has its own unique history, but that's something saved for the book!

Do you have a new favorite type of bean? Yeah, so far I have a favorite new one that I knew about but had never really used before. It's the lupini bean ... I soaked it for three weeks and it was still hard, but it has this reputation. I ended up turning it into just a snack because it was so - like [after] three weeks, still kind of hard, I put it in the crock pot for like three days...nothing. I researched and thought maybe it was just a bad batch or whatever and it's not. The bean is just like that. Italians are known for even putting it in their bath tub and running it constantly...I don't even know why I bothered. But I tried. So I ended up making a little crunchy snack.

What is your favorite way to cook beans? I've been experimenting with different ways and so far, one of the better dishes that I've made was the New Year dish, Hoppin' John. We made that over New Years just to, you know, add some good fortune on top of everything. That was really good and it's just a smoked ham hock with black eyed peas and collard greens. There are different superstitions around it, obviously. Certain people want to do collard greens, other people don't, but generally accepted you want to do collard greens. But either way, just to cover all the bases I did all of that and that was really good.

What besides beans are you obsessed with right now? I can't stop drinking sherry! I love it. I just want to try all the sherries. I'm all about the sherry right now.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria