Great black beans are cooked from scratch. By cooking from scratch, you get more flavor and more control of taste. But keep a few cans handy for when you can’t cook from scratch.
Great beans are slow. They soak all night, and they cook all day. Beans require even longer soaking than whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat, which require a couple hours of soaking, which you can start in the morning or afternoon and be ready for dinner. Beans require soaking for hours, usually over night. And while whole grains can be cooked in under an hour, simmering beans to a soft texture may takes a couple of hours. A good habit is soak over night, start simmering in the morning, and then use both the beans and bean broth for both lunch and dinner meals.
I don't worry about soaking time, or cooking time. I just soak overnight, and start cook in the morning or afternoon, giving me plenty of time. The beans are ready for dinner. (You can find tables of how long to soak and how long to cook different varieties of beans. I find that's too much to remember.)
You can make large amounts, and refrigerate or freeze. Or cook small amounts just in time. I cook small amounts, because I like to adjust the spice and flavor. Dry beans will double in volume. ½ cup dry, 1 cup wet, is per person serving.
Prepare by soaking beans overnight, black beans at least 8 hrs. Retain the soaking liquid. (I prefer to keep the soaking liquid for its nutrition.)
To grind whole spices: Grind cumin seed, black peppercorns, bay leaf and oregano into coarse powder in spice grinder. Set aside. This step can also be done while browning onions, along with chopping base vegetables.
To start base: In large pot, brown onion, lowering heat once it colors, 10-12 min. Add splash of water, carrot, celery, garlic and ground spices, and simmer 2-3 min. Result should be chunky fragrant vegetable mix, without much excess water, which would only slow cooking.
Main: To large pot with vegetable base, add beans and soaking liquid, and cover with 1-2 inches water. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer, 1-2 hours until beans are soft. Use strainer to drain retaining the liquid bean broth.
Finish: Add fresh cilantro to garnish.
Spice can be simple as garlic and bay, but beans absorb flavor with water. Dull beans make dull dishes.
If your homemade beans don't taste as good as canned, it's the spices.
Many recipes list a prepared broth or stock. Here's where the card goes up the sleeve, because a broth or stock contains most of the spices.
I don't use prepared broth, because I prefer to control the flavor myself. Most prepared broths contain too much salt, and many veggie broths are muddy, and make all dishes turn out the same. Stocks for American, European and Asian dishes should all taste different.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (156g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 5 (5%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 0.6g||1 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.1g||1 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.2g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 110mg||4 %|
|Potassium 455.8mg||12 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 20.9g||6 %|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||28 %|
|Sugars, other 13.9g|
|Protein 6g||9 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 109
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