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Baby Lima Beans with 34 Garlic Cloves

2 c Dried baby lima beans soaked and drained
4 Whole cloves
2 md Shallots
2 sm Dried whole red chilies
1 ts Dried thyme
34 Garlic clove(s) (about 3oz or 1 whole head)
1 ts Salt or to taste
2 tb Olive oil
1/2 ts Pepper
1/2 c Flat-leaf parsley coarsely chopped

In a 5-qt. non-stick Dutch oven, bring beans and water to cover by 2 inches to a boil. Skim off any foam, stick two cloves into each of the shallots, and add them to the beans with the chilies and thyme. Bring to a boil again, cover with the lid slightly ajar and simmer beans for 30 minutes.

Tie 32 of the cloves of garlic in a cheesecloth bag for easy removal later on; finely mince the remaining 2 garlic cloves and set them aside. Add the bag of garlic to the beans and continue to simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in the salt during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet, add the minced garlic and saut‚ over very low heat until the garlic is tender, 2-3 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown or it will be bitter.

When the beans are tender, remove and discard the bag of garlic, the shallots with cloves and the hot chilies. Drain beans, reserving « cup of the liquid, and return beans to the pot. Stir in the black pepper, saut‚ed garlic, parsley and just enough of the reserved liquid to moisten the beans. Warm beans gently and spoon into a serving dish. Can be prepared ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. To reheat, add more of the reserved liquid if the beans seems too dry. Taste for seasoning before serving.

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