Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Quick & Spicy Black Beans

With all the rice bowl making I have been doing, I have been cruising through my pantry stash of beans. For me, the beans are a really critical part of those recipes. I have been able to use proteins that cost a little more, but I have been able to use a lot less of them because I add beans to the dish. 

Plus, I LOVE beans. I think they are so darn good. Seriously, when I made this, I ate a bowl of them before I divided them up and put them in the freezer.  

Taking the time and effort to make beans at home from dry beans might seem like such a waste. I thought that way for a long time.  I would tell myself, But beans are so cheap anyway. (They are EVEN Cheaper when you cook them from dry) How much better could they really be (Significantly!) Does it make them better for you? ( These are completely sodium FREE!) 

Plus, the flavor from these is so amazing.  I don't like to buy my beans already flavored, I think it adds a lot of chemicals and stuff that I don't want or need, plus I don't know how I am going to use them and a can of flavored beans really limits me.  It takes me about 3 hours from start to finish to cook a pot of beans. But that is almost completely unattended time. It really only takes about 15 minutes of "work" in the kitchen. 

1 1lb bag of dry black beans
2 medium jalapeno 
2 cloves of garlic 
1 tsp cumin 
2 Tbsp olive 

Soak with one of these methods:

Hot Soak or Quick Soak. “Hot soaking” helps dissolve some of the gas-causing substances in beans and most consistently produces tender beans. In a large pot, add 10 cups of water for each pound (2 cups) of dry beans. Heat to boiling; boil for 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and soak for at least 1 hour (Quick Soak) or up to 4 hours (Hot Soak).

Traditional Overnight Soak. This is the easiest method. Place dry beans in a large container; for each pound (2 cups) beans, add 10 cups of cold water. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and rinse beans soaked by either method with fresh, cool water.

Cooking the Beans
Place beans in a large pot; cover with fresh water and your chopped jalapenos as well as the garlic and cumin and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until beans are tender but firm.

At about 45 minutes start testing your beans, try a taste test or mash a bean against the side of the pot with a fork or spoon. 

Check occasionally if you need to add more water. Most beans will cook in 45 minutes to 2 hours.

If you choose to add salt, so it when beans are tender as it will toughen them. 

Refrigerate cooked beans in shallow pans if they are to be eaten later. Freeze any extra beans within 4 days after cooking them.

Some interesting bean facts:

  • A 15-ounce can of beans provides about three 1/2-cup servings of beans.
  • One pound of dry edible beans yields about 6 cups of cooked beans.
  • The cost of a 15-ounce can of beans ranges from about 33–67 cents per 1/2-cup serving, depending on whether people buy the store brand instead of the national brand.
  • A half cup of dry beans, cooked from scratch, costs about 17 cents.
  • One type of bean can usually be substituted for another type in recipes. Taste and color may vary slightly.