My goal for the next 5 weeks, before I leave Montreal on March 3rd, is to eat all of the dried beans I have in my cupboard. This includes large quantities of:
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Navy beans
- Kidney Beans
- Split peas
- Brown Lentils
- Red Lentils
- Chick peas
And a few cans of other types of beans. This is indeed a daunting task – how many beans can 1 girl eat, or feed to her friends?
Some recipes I’ve used/invented/modified to use these beans include:
Minestrone soup (I usually make this without the pork, cabbage, or kale, though of course it’s up to you!).
Some tips for preparing beans:
- Soak them in water for a few hours before you want to cook them. Alton Brown says to use cold water and let them sit for 8 hours. This apparently makes the beans more tender or delicious or something. If you have a life and don’t plan out your meals a week in advance, you can just add boiling water to your beans and let them soak for 1 hour. Throw in some salt or stock to make them yummier.
- After they have soaked a bit you boil them with enough water (and salt or stock) to make sure they are completely submerged for about 1 hour.
- Keep the heat low and check on them every once in a while to make sure the beans aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pot and the liquid hasn’t all evaporated.
- Lentils and black eyed peas don’t really need to soak and don’t need to cook as long.
- Just taste your beans to see if they are soft enough.
- If you want to make hummus with chick peas, you really have to boil the sh*t out of them until they are very soft and mushy.
- Apparently the water the you boil kidney beans in is poisonous or gives you stomach cramps or something, so you should soak them, drain them, and then boil them in fresh water, and then be sure to cook them thoroughly, and then completely drain them and rinse them before serving them in something like a salad.
I welcome recipes that will help me use these beans!
I have to admit, eating all these beans has had some negative consequences… they don’t call me “Gassy Gaston” for nothing!