Black bean, corn and chicken chili. Get the recipe. Photo courtesy McCormick.
|WHAT IT IS: Gourmet beans grown from heirloom strains.
|WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Freshness, softness and flavor over “starchiness.”
WHY WE LOVE IT: Beauty, variety and tasty fun.
|WHERE TO BUY IT: RanchoGordo.com.
Page 4: Recipes For Beans
Tips For Cooking With Beans
While there are many detailed recipes for beans in our selection of bean cookbooks, plain beans are delicious, dressed with a bit of flavored olive oil (we like garlic olive oil), some grated cheese and snipped fresh parsley.
Cooking beans is easy:
- While many recipes recommend holding the salt until the beans are cooked, we add salt at the beginning of cooking.
- Foods high in acid (tomatoes, for example) slow down the cooking process. High-acid ingredients should be added after the beans are cooked to desired softness.
- You can freeze cooked beans in two-cup portions to use in any recipe that calls for a 16-ounce can of beans. Your home-cooked bean are likely to have less sodium and be tastier.
- Save the pot liquor for a stock. Its earthiness is great for bean soup or mushroom soup.
Basic Bean Recipe
- 1 cup dry beans, any variety
- 4 cups water (for more flavor use chicken broth)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients in a lidded pot and bring to a boil.
- Cover and turn heat down to medium- low.
- Simmer for 2-3 hours or until desired tenderness is reached. Don’t overcook and end up with mushy beans.
- Check pot occasionally and add water as needed.
The article continues below with a delicious tomato and bean soup recipe.
Spicy Tomato Soup & Cranberry Bean Recipe
This recipe, developed by Chef Eric Dantis, combines the antioxidant lycopene in tomato soup with the nutritious beans. Serves 4.
- 2 cans San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 ancho chile
- 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1-½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 bunch cilantro (use leaves for garnish, and use stems for bouquet)
- 1-2 tablespoons of butter
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional herb garnish: cilantro or basil
- Optional cream garnish: crème fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream
The beans are hidden under the soup. To have them show through, use a shallow bowl; or let them be a surprise. Photo by Evegny B | IST.
- Cook cranberry beans according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat a pot on medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom.
- Use scissors to cut off the root end of the ancho chile. Then, cut into strips and sauté for about 2 minutes. (Wash hands after handling chili and avoid touching eyes and/or nose.)
- Toss in onion, carrot and garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sweat until translucent.
- When vegetables are tender, stir in cumin, smoked paprika and coriander; toast for two minutes.
- Fold in tomato paste and chipotle chile plus two tablespoons of the adobo sauce. Let cook for one minute.
- Using a cheesecloth or coffee filter, make a bouquet garni out of the herbs, cilantro stems and bay leaf. Tie tightly and add to the pot.
- Add San Marzano tomatoes and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
- Raise heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove bouquet garni, place soup in a bender and blend until smooth.
- Stir in beans and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Plate and serve with optional garnishes: cilantro leaves or basil; crème fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream.
Find More Soup Recipes
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