Monday, April 18, 2011

Best Black Beans - EVER

I have a history of loving black beans- Cuban style, Mexican style, you name the bean, I love it.
This week I finally decided that it was time really eat Mexican food again, and since I can't buy it in France, I'd have to make it. In the spirit, I decided to use a new recipe to see how it turned out. Rick Bayless' Everyday Mexican, is the MAN. I twisted one of his recipes to suit my ingredients and cooking options. It ROCKED! Even the kids were asking for more. Next time I will double the batch.
I am sure this recipe will work with dried garbanzo beans (chick peas), pinto (burlotti) beans or dried fava beans too.

Oven-Cooked Black Beans

2 1/2 cups (400grams) black beans, soaked overnight or all day, change the water whenever you rememeber.
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
2 bay (laurier) leaves or dried avocado leaves
2 inch (10 cm) piece dried Kombu seaweed

Large Dutch oven (large cocotte)

Soaking and changing the water of the beans helps thier hard cover open and cracrack, getting thenm ready for sprouting. Doing this, and cooking with them with kombu greatly increases thier digestibility. No matter what anyone else says to me, this is years of my personal experience.

Pre-heat oven to 275F/140C

Place Dutch oven on stove on medium heat. Add oil. When hot, add chopped onions. Fry until transparent. Turn off heat.

Place kombu under the onions. Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Place on top of the onions and kombu. Fill with water until water level reachs apprximately 1 inch (5 cm) over the beans. Add the bay(laurier) or avocado leaves.

Place on stove at high heat and bring to a boil.
Cover and turn off heat.
Place in pre-heated oven.
Let slow cook for 2-3 hours. I always go out!

Remove from oven and taste a bean to make sure it is soft. Season with seasalt.
Note: NEVER add the salt before the beans are soft. If you do they will stay hard no matter how long you cook them!

Serve with creme fraiche or sourcream, chopped onions, chopped cilantro (coriander), fresh salsa or just some chopped up tomatoes and cucumbers!
You can have these as a meal, or as a side dish with chicken or pork, if you eat it.

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