I'm getting ready to go on a mini-trip tomorrow, not a terribly well planned trip since I'm headed to The Windy City where it's to be well, windy, and cold. I'll be the woman wrapped in the down coat. Anyhow, I'm having a bit of book stress today since I just finished two books and am in the middle of nothing! Not a good way to start a trip if you ask me. The third Simon Serrailler book of Susan Hill's arrived and I think that'll be a shoo-in since I'm already involved with the characters. But I feel I need something else, and since I'm nervous about traveling with books that are difficult to replace - Viragos, advance copies, books from the UK, I'm in a bit of quandary.
In light of all this packing and book decisions, I thought I'd share my black bean technique with you since we'll be eating the leftovers tonight.
I soak my beans overnight. In my opinion this keeps them more firm than the quick-soak method and reduces the, um, gassy qualities of the beans. I drain them, cover them with liquid (probably too much) and then bring to a boil with a cut up onion, a few cloves of garlic, bay leaves, and cilantro. You don't want to add salt now or the beans will have trouble becoming soft. That's what I hear anyway.
So bring the beans to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender! I have to keep them partially covered for this or they stop simmering. I start checking for doneness after 30 minutes or so, but they can take as long as an hour. It just depends on your beans, and mine seem pretty fresh since they never take quite as long as the books say. In the meantime I prepare this:
Sauteed onions, red pepper, jalapenos, garlic, spices - paprika and cumin, and throw in some cilantro towards the end as well as salt and pepper. I let this get pretty soft.
Since I usually cook my beans in too much water I remove the excess along with the other flavorings I added at the beginning. Add the onion mixture. There's a pretty high ratio of onion mixture to beans here; I actually started this thinking I had more beans to cook.
And that's it! Adjust the seasonings and you could serve these with rice, as a taco filling - mashing them a bit helps with this, or as an enchilada filling. They're yummy and my family is actually happy about this dinner.
I wanted to say, please forgive me if it seems I've not been around much lately. I've mentioned this before, but I have some problems with my right hand and they're flaring up pretty badly right now. I'm trying to rest it. I'm still reading posts, just not commenting very much.
See you next week!