Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Word About Beans

This is the first time I ever used dried beans in a recipe. I put them to soak, and was so proud of myself, I took a picture for the blog.

After all, using dried beans is more cost efficient and healthier for you (because of the lower sodium content - or so I'm told).

However, there is something I was about to learn about beans.  The ones that come in the can are pre-cooked!  Ack!  Who knew?  So when I substituted my frugal home-soaked beans in the recipe, throwing them in for the last 15 minutes... that was not nearly enough time for them to cook!  (Experienced cooks everywhere are having a good laugh at my expense, I'm sure.)

Serving dinner for six that night, I served up the chicken and confessed, "I'm a little concerned about the beans." lol

I ended up grabbing some canned beans from a cupboard, rinsing them quickly, putting them in a bowl with the slow cooker juices, and zapping them in the microwave for 5 minutes, while my guests talked politely amongst themselves (all the while sitting at the table with empty plates!)

But now I know.  After all, I've only been plaguing the kitchen for about three years now (Bryan and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary last month) so I haven't had nearly enough time to make all the mistakes yet.  ;0)

In any case, stay tuned for the delicious Garlic Basil Chicken slow cooker recipe.  Using uncooked beans is purely optional.


Jenn said...

Hi Mer,
I'm a learning cook, but I come from South Louisiana where beans are a staple food around here.

I often cook dry black beans for my dishes.

Normally, I put a large batch of beans into a pot and boil. When it reaches boiling, I pour them into a collander and drain off the water. I do this 2-3 times. By the last time, your water is clear and no longer has that murky look that dried beans give it.

I then cook them till soft. Afterwards, I use Biggie's method to freeze in small portions and use as needed.

It's time consuming, but they are so worth it!

Little Old Liz said...

No worries! Experienced cooks are tripping down memor lane with your story, since we've all done it at least once.

Because I live in a high altitude, I'm not fond of cooking dry beans in a slow cooker. You could have done them, however, in a pressure cooker toot-sweet. Maybe you can talk the Hubster into an after-the-anniversary gift?

Mer said...

Thanks for the tips!

annaliese said...

oh my! this did make me laugh! not that I probably wouldn't have done it--oh no--I most likely would have...just the way you wrote it was so funny :) thanks for sharing!