Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bean there, done that.

I'm done with these little fiends.


Yes, beans. After all I've done for them. Making chili, bean dip, bean soups, beanie weenies, cassoulet... I even dedicated an episode of this blog to an old Goya bean cookbook.

But we're not friends anymore, beans.

At least not the dry beans.

All I want to know is... why?

WHY?

WWWHHHHYYUUYUUAAARRRRRGH

Why can't I ever get these freaking dry beans soft?

I soaked them for 12 hours or more. I used salt. I stopped using salt. I boiled the crap out of them. I slow-cooked them. I soaked them 12 hours, put them in the slow cooker 12 hours, and then baked them 4 more hours. And they still came out like little bullets.

Screw you, dry beans, you bastards.

Some exceptions: split peas are okay. I've made split-pea soup that cooked for hours and hours and came out fine. (My wife's not a fan of soup for dinner.) I've made black-eyed peas in hopping john that came out all right. (My wife dislikes black-eyed peas.) Lentils have not been a problem. (My wife hates lentils.) My wife likes most beans, but all the ones she likes--red kidney, black, pintos, cannellini, navy, marrow, great northern... all these beans stubbornly remain about as soft as brass when I try to cook them from a dry state.

The only thing I haven't tried is grinding them up in the food processor before soaking and boiling. Bean mush.

I don't know what the problem is. Maybe it's this New York water. Makes us all tough.

The last time, when soaking and boiling did nothing, I resorted to trying to find recipes for baked beans. And you know what most recipes started with? Canned pork 'n beans. Even Paula Deen's started with canned pork 'n beans.

The hell with it. I'm through with dry beans. Sticking to the cans from now on. You can't get all the varieties of heirloom beans that way, but you can get beans you can eat, which is more than I have been able to make at home.

Can it, beans.
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