Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Trick To Beans

Beans are one of the most healthful things a person can eat and it's a wonder people don't eat them more.  I'm not talking about the canned kinds such as bean with bacon or baked beans (with the one piece of gratuitous pork fat).  I mean dried beans you buy in a package or in bulk, like pintos or great white northerns.
Nutritional reasons aside, there remains the one culprit that stops people from eating them:  a room full of folks with vicious amounts of gas.
If you enjoy the beans (but not the gas!) there's ways to cut out most of the unpleasantry if you don't mind taking a couple extra steps.
For a meal of pintos free of noxious fumes, put your rinsed and sorted beans in a pot of water the night before.  About one inch of water over the beans works fine.  Boil them over medium-high flame until you stop seeing white foam.  Drain and rinse.  Put them back in the pot covered with hot water and let them soak overnight.  Drain and rinse them the next day, then put them back in the pot with an inch-inch a half of water above the beans.  Cook them to desired tenderness with spices and vegetables of your choice.  It seems like a lot of work, but it's mostly beans boiling or setting overnight.
Navy or Great Northerns work the same way, but you can skip letting them sit overnight since they're softer and cook faster. Three or four hours should be enough.