saturday night, 0125, perfect beans

As a kid I didn’t like beans, mostly. Green beans were okay, but the others were, ugh. Probably this was because of bad textures (my parents had a weird affection for blackeyed peas or red beans with mushy rice), bad flavors (often beans were served with… beans), and some genuinely bad beans. Particularly, overcooked lima beans and sad limp pinto beans contributed to this.

The lesson of my adult bean adventures is: over-season. Beans are great, but you have to treat them right. In this case I cooked 1 cup (dry volume) Great Northern Beans with: black pepper, green peppercorns, a bay leaf, saffron, two tomatoes, a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of epazote. They are fucking fantastic. What would be an overkill flavoring in most dishes is just enough with a cup of beans.

And that’s your saturday night bean update.

8 thoughts on “saturday night, 0125, perfect beans

    1. The flavoring goes in as the beans are cooking. Just *no* salt or they harden up.
      Epazote is a traditional southwest/mexican herb flavoring that, among other things, removes a lot of the gaseous effects of beans.

  1. sounds delicious!
    Growing up with a latina (1/2 Mexican, 1/2 Puerto Rican) for a best friend, I was lucky to have good bean experiences at a young age.

  2. I completely agree with you about the amount of flavoring that beans not only can take, but desperately need. I swear I use about a large handful of cumin seeds in a bagheer for, say, blackbeans and rice. It’s almost hard to put too much flavor in beans.

  3. Mmm…beans…
    It’s true, beans need plenty of seasoning. So does tofu, or it’s just so much mouth-feel and nothin’ to taste. But, I gotta say, you are so much heartier than I in your spice tolerance. I’m a wimp when it comes down to it: no pepper sauce here, thank you very much. Pass the Salsa Gringo.
    Another great method for removing the gaseous influence of dry beans: soak them over night, drain and rinse thoroughly. Cook them in fresh water or broth.
    Mmmm….beans. As a vegetarian, where would I be without them?

    1. Re: Mmm…beans…
      I did the rapid soak method + epazote. Put in water, bring to boil for 2 minutes, dump out water. Put in more water, bring to boil, take off heat and cover, let sit for a couple hours. Works great.

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