Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beans beans beans

I discovered the down side of learning how to cook.  I did a bean party and cooked three types of beans.  This is not opening them up from a can and heating it in the microwave.  I started these three the day before with soaking all night long.  Dried beans need to soak and reabsorb water.  Then I took inspiration from with their recipes.  I also considered what I had on hand.  The pinto beans I did the usual beans and hocks using the ham bone from an earlier ham dinner.  The bean has bits of ham and thickens from the bone marrow in the bone.  They turned out a little different than I expected.  DH explained that manufactures have changed the curing process which changes the flavor of the beans and hocks.  These beans I consider a main dish.  Served with corn bread makes for a yummy combination. 

The navy beans I took inspiration from the Boston baked beans idea.  I purchased molasses to go into this one along with brown sugar, ketchup, and several yummy spices.  For the half the cooking time I took the lid off so the beans would thicken up.  Had these again last night with pork chops.  The beans became a yummy side dish to replace the potatoes I usually make with pork chops.

The black beans were given a twist of lime and cilantro to become a South of the Border style dish.  At first I wasn't too impressed with this one.  Then I sampled using a Frito as a scooper.  Those beans started a party in my mouth.

I was impressed that all 3 pots of beans fit in my oven.  The downside is I now have a lot of beans.  I gave some away. I froze the rest.  The Black beans I plan to serve as a future build your own burrito dinner with our kids and their families.  I've always felt intimidated by backing beans.  In the past I've burnt them, made uneatable combinations, and undercooked them.  (We would have needed to wait to eat at midnight.  Cooked way too slow.)  Learning to cook is my long term goal this year.  After this experience, I feel like I could tackle any combination of beans.  Next step on the bean excursion, refried beans.  My daughter assures me this is easy to do.

To go with the beans I cooked baking soda biscuits.  I actually followed all the directions including the rolling out and folding.  For the first time, I understand how biscuits get all these little  layers. The tasted amazing.  Also yummy a couple of days later by popping them in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Here is the delicious recipe:
The whole folding thing really did work.  They pulled apart into layers begging to have butter added...and a bit of honey too.  Super yummy. 

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