Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Simmered Black Beans

I bookmarked this recipe from the NY Times about a month ago and have finally gotten around to making it. For many this won't seem like a big deal. A pot of beans? Eh...
But for me, making this is helping me get over my fear of dried beans. I have no idea why I have such a mental block against making them. I guess I've just wanted to find one steadfast, tried and true method of cooking them and just kept coming across major inconsistencies in the recipes found. Do you soak, do you not (ok I realize this is just a cooking time saver)? Do you drain the soaking water? Most recipes say yes, but this one didn't, ugh. I thought if you added salt during the cooking they didn't soften, but some recipes call for salt at the beginning.

I figured I was just going to have to pick one and go for it. After cooking up 1 lb of black beans, we've got 1/2 of it in the freezer (recipe said it freezes great) and 1/2 in the fridge (keeps for 3-4 days). The only part of the recipe that had me the slightest bit confused was weather or not to cover the pot during the second hour. I split the difference and just kept the lid askew to vent some of the steam and thicken the broth. Also, there wasn't a specific amount of salt to add, so I used 2 tsp. of kosher salt.

This recipe is a total keeper. Done buying canned, unless I'm in a time pinch. We just ate these topped with avocado, chopped tomato, feta and a bit of cilantro. Skipped the rice since we had a huge pile of corn cake goodness to eat with them. Recipe to follow in the next post!

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