Put It Away
How To Cook Dried Beans
I do not add acidic ingredients such as tomatoes until after the beans are soft.
There must be enough liquid to keep the beans covered so they will cook uniformly. Any beans not covered during cooking will dry out and be inedible.
I use bacon grease to lessen the possibility of the cooking water boiling over and to add flavor to the beans.
I add the salt only after the beans have been softened in cooking.
I like cooking beans on top of the stove because it allows the flavors of the beans and seasoning to intermingle, creating a flavor that simply cannot come from a can.
To cook beans on your stove-top, put 1 pound pkg of dried beans, water, 1-2 T bacon grease, 2 T dehydrated onion, and 2-3 cloves of garlic in a saucepan or pot of appropriate size.
Bring the beans to a boil, reduce the heat, then cover and simmer until beans are tender. This takes 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the bean variety.
Check the beans occasionally to see if they are covered with the cooking liquid. If there is so much liquid absorption and evaporation that the top of the beans becomes exposed, add very hot tap water to the pot to cover the beans.
When dried beans boil, a foam forms on the top of the cooking liquid. This foam is water-soluble protein released from the beans and it will be absorbed back into the bean cooking liquid. It is not necessary to remove the foam.
After the beans are soft, add salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 cup salsa, 2 T of Knorr Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor, and if you like 1 t celery salt.
Cook some more until the flavor is cooked in.
Sometimes, too, when the beans are done, I will bring them to a boil, then crack eggs and drop about 7 or 8 eggs into them and let them cook. Eggs and beans are an incredible combination. The Spanish then crunch of chips or tear up tortillas and add them to the soup. We also add cut pieces of avocado, shredded cheese, or other toppings…yum, yum, yum.
Remember, you can cook black beans, pintos, small red, white, kidney, black eyed peas, lentils, etc. Mix them, try them all. My family likes black beans best, with small red beans coming in second.
Casamiento (which means marriage) which is when you make rice, but when you add the liquid to the rice…instead of adding water or broth, you pour in the liquid from beans you have made as well as some of the beans.
In a large skillet, put:
3 slices of bacon chopped up (or bacon grease)
1 T of fresh chopped onion
Sauté the onion in the bacon. In other words, cook the onion until it is translucent and cooked. I also use plain old bacon grease, which I always save to use as a flavoring.
Once the onion is cooked and the bacon crisp. Add some of the cooked beans. Stir the beans in and then use a potato masher to mash the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For variation add:
- 1 small can (4 ounces) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies peppers
Or just some Tabasco sauce or jalapeños to make it hotter if you prefer.
In a large skillet, put 4 T of oil.
In a blender, Add 1 T of fresh chopped onion and some of cooked beans and juice. Blend until smooth.
Put the beans in the pan and cook in the oil until the raw onion flavor changes to a cooked onion flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Both way make excellent refried beans. Add some Tabasco sauce or jalapeños to make it hotter if you prefer.