Monday, January 20, 2014

Black Beans 101.

Oh beans. You are so cheap in your dried form, yet so convenient in your canned form. I've had a canister of dry black beans for a couple of months now, yet any time I cook something that calls for black beans, I run to the store and buy a can. Why is this? Why must I be such a fool?

As of today I am still waiting for paperwork to go through so I can start my new job. I am nervous, I am excited, I am anxious, and I am excited.

I thought I should put that nervous/excited energy to use, so here is documentation that I didn't just sit around watching the Kardashian marathon, although YBYA I'll be watching that part 2 season premiere tonight. Last night's episode really had my heart racing. Kim's blonde hair, Khlo & Lam-Lam's drama, Kris & Bruce's separation announcement and how it clearly affected Kendall, gahhhhddddd it was so riveting. Had me on the edge of my SEAT. Similar to how this beans post probably has you feeling already.

Get yourself a nice pound bag of dry black beans. Get a medium size pot with a tight-fitting lid. Get some waters. Plenty of waters. Got those things? Great.

Let 6-8 cups of water begin coming to a boil. SPOILER ALERT: You're going to need the boiling water in a little bit to cover your beans for a quick soak before we get to cooking, so its good to get the heat cranked while you prep the beanz.

Go ahead and dump your pound-a-beans into a colander. Rinse with cold water, and check for any rejects that are either dumb-shaped, ugly, or discolored. Or broken. Also rocks. If there are any rocks, remove those. Obviously.

Remove the stupid beans. Point and laugh at them. Bully your beans. BULLY YOUR BEANS. Now throw them away, we hate them.

Put the good beans into a pot.

Cover with the boiling water. QUICK PUT THE LID ON.

Now. Let the beans soak with the lid on for one hour. The water doesn't need to continue to boil, so no need to turn on any heat under them at this point. Walk away from the kitchen for an hour. Thats long enough to put away 3 loads of laundry AND do private penance for the hasty words spoken to the reject beans just minutes prior. (In case you aren't sure, specifically, how to repent the sin that is bullying beans that don't meet your expectations, its gonna be 3 Our Fathers and 5 Hail Marys. I googled it.)

Now, after an hour has passed, you want to dump your beans back into the colander. No need to rinse, we are just changing out the water at this point. Pour the soaking water out, return beans to their pot, and cover with fresh warm water from the tap until beans are completely submerged.

Bring the water and beans to a steady simmer.

Let them go for about an hour and a half, adding water to the pot every 20 or so minutes as it gets low.

Taste the beans at this point, they may need to continue cooking for another 30 minutes to an hour.

Once they are tender, drain them, season them well, and serve them!

I didn't take pictures of the finished product because I'll wait to serve them tonight over quinoa with diced tomato, roasted corn, and avocado. They will store in the fridge in an airtight container for weeks. You can add them to salads. Throw them in with taco meat and spice up your tacos. Make burrito bowls by serving over brown rice with salsa, avocado, and cheese! Do whatever your heart is telling you to do with your beans. But don't forget to pat yourself on the back for saving a couple of dollars.

We did it, guys.

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