When you see the word "smothered" in a recipe you know it is Southern, and that nine times out of ten it will involve a roux. It will not be listed on the point chart for Weight Watchers either.
Smothering extracts the very heart of the flavors of whatever is being cooked. Something as simple as green beans and potatoes, smothered in their own juices, become nothing short of amazing.
Smothered Green Beans and Potatoes
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3/4 pound)
Fry the bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until slightly crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Add the flour to the fat in the pan and stirring constantly for 5 to 8 minutes, make a medium brown roux, the color of peanut butter.
Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the salt, cayenne, black pepper, and water. Stir until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the beans and potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Potatoes should be fork tender. Uncover and cook for about 3 minutes.
Fold in the reserved bacon and serve immediately.