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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

She Said - Black Beans

My second entry for the Second Annual He Said/She Said Contest from Jean ParĂ©'s Company's Coming Heart-Friendly Cooking is black beans (Pp. 14).  Surprisingly I very seldom cook beans from scratch on the stovetop.  The reason I don't cook them on the stovetop is I can beans (eg. kidney, navy, black, etc) instead.  Canning eliminates the long stovetop cooking for beans while giving me a convenient ready to use product for the pantry.  I choose this recipe for the experience of cooking beans on the stovetop and the extra flavours it offered.  The black beans will (?) also be used in another of my contest recipes. 

Black beans are one of my favourite beans.  They can be mashed to use in place of meat for tacos, taco salad or as a meat extender in meatloaves.  We enjoy them as a side with a little butter as well. 

Cooking the black beans on the stovetop was quite easy.  They did take the full 55 minute cooking time.  Despite the added ingredients the beans only had a bare hint of the extra flavours.  I noticed more splitting than with the home canned version.  I put two 1 cup packages of the beans into the freezer as I have froze black beans before so I want to see how they are when thawed. 

Black Beans
source: Jean ParĂ©,  Company's Coming Heart-Friendly Cooking, 2003, Pp. 14

1 lb dried black beans
water to cover

14 c water
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic
1 strip lemon peel*

Pour beans into a bowl and cover with water.  Let sit overnight.  Drain.  Pour beans into large pot.  Add 14 c of water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil on medium-high.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer 55 minutes or until beans are tender but not mushy.  Drain.  The beans can be portioned out in 1 c size and froze if desired.

*I used most of the peel of one lemon.

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