Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Basic Black Beans

Basic Black Beans
10 Servings
1 lb dried black beans
8 cups water
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced

Sort beans by spreading them out on a flat surface and remove any broken, off color or odd shaped beans.  Remove any dirt, rocks and other debris. 
Rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain. 
Transfer beans to a large pot and add the cold water.
Place pot on medium heat and simmer uncovered.
Add the bay Leaves and all the dry spices and herbs and stir thoroughly.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, heat the oil and sauté the peppers, onion and garlic until onions are translucent.
Add the sautéed vegetables to the pot of beans and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally. 
Check the liquid level and make sure it’s covering the beans by at least 1 inch. 
If liquid is evaporating too rapidly, reduce the heat even further and add water ½ - 1 cup at a time.
After a total cooking time of 2 hours, test the beans for doneness. 
If the beans are not done, continue cooking, stirring occasionally until beans are done. 
When black beans are fresh, they do not take any longer than 2 - 2½ hours to be fully cooked.

Notes:  To soak or not to soak, the choice is yours.  If you choose to soak  your beans there are two basic methods:
1.    The long soak. Simply cover the beans in water and soak them overnight (about 8-10 hours).  You now have the option of discarding the water or cooking the beans in the soaking water. 
2.    The quick boil.  Put the beans in a large pot, add water and bring up to a boil. Let the water boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover the pot and let soak for about 1 hour.

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