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Cooking Dried Beans


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#241 John DePaula

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:43 AM

...
Because I don't like fatty soups, instead of adding a ham hock and cooking it with the soup beans, I like to make a ham stock. I use smoked ham shanks instead of hocks, because they are meatier. So I make a large pot of ham stock with the shanks, onion, celery etc, then take the meat off the bones when it's very tender--at least two hours--and skim the fat. I freeze the stock and use it for cooking the beans that I serve over rice. The ham can be added back to the beans or used for hash or salad or whatever you like.

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mmm... that sounds good!
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#242 Katie Meadow

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:45 PM

It is yummy, and really convenient, once you've make the stock. I first got the idea from a NYT article about cooking collard greens. I don't really care for meat in my greens, but I like that smoky ham flavor, so I started to freeze the ham stock in small containers for when I made greens. Now I've graduated to quart containers for cooking beans. I could never have participated in that no-shopping challenge. I would have been drinking ham stock all week.

#243 gfron1

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 06:59 AM

In case anyone missed it - in the recent Saveur they reported soaking is fine, even good in that it reduced cooking time by at least a quarter, it isn't necessary. The quick soak method had no effect on cooking time. Salt didn't change the texture or cooking time so salt as you like. They also said that if you include tomatoes, leave them out until the end because acidic ingredients make things cook much slower.

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#244 rancho_gordo

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:58 AM

In case anyone missed it - in the recent Saveur they reported soaking is fine, even good in that it reduced cooking time by at least a quarter, it isn't necessary.  The quick soak method had no effect on cooking time.  Salt didn't change the texture or cooking time so salt as you like.  They also said that if you include tomatoes, leave them out until the end because acidic ingredients make things cook much slower.

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I feel vindicated! I've always said that the soaking in hot water is like cooking, so wjy not just actually cook? Others say it helps with gas. I think McGhee disproved that or said the effect is so minimal, it's not worth the bother.

I still don't trust the salt thing with older beans of an unknown origin. I'll call it a quirk!
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#245 Katie Meadow

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 01:49 PM

Bumping up this thread to see if anyone is cooking any new types of beans lately. I just tried RG's Rebosero beans and they are great. Somewhat like a Pinto, but they manage to retain their shape when cooked well even though they have a very tender skin. Really delicious--creamy, good flavor. My preference in southwestern style beans has been to use Rattlesnake beans, but they are getting scarce as hens' teeth. Highly recommend the Rebosero!

#246 Dakki

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 02:19 PM

Going through some Flor de Mayo I bought way too much of back in Spring. A change from Pintos.
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#247 Jaymes

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 07:48 AM

We bought some of the large limas from Rancho Gordo and I prepared them for dinner last week.

I just want to say that it turned out to be one of the most delicious pots of any vegetables I think I've ever had.

I used one whole package of the large limas. I did soak them a bit - maybe a couple of hours.

Sauted a half-pound of bacon with two sliced yellow onions and two mashed garlic cloves and about a teaspoon of RG's magical Indio Oregano until the bacon was cooked and the onions were clear. Put the limas back into the pot and added chicken broth to cover limas to a depth of about two inches.

(Note - I didn't have any chicken broth in the freezer, so I used water and Knorr's "Caldo de Pollo.")

It didn't take long to cook up this pot to simmering perfection - maybe an hour, if that. I think perhaps it's because RG's beans are so fresh that they don't take as long.

I had planned to serve this as a side dish the first night, and then add some ham and serve with cornbread as our main the next night.

But there was not even so much as one drop left.

And now the whole family is clamoring for more.
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#248 andiesenji

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 10:28 AM

I'm down the last of the beans I got from Rancho Gordo last January (Yellow Indian Woman, Flageolet, Good Mother Stallard, Tepary and Lila)
and am trying to decide what to order this time.
After reading Jaymes post, the large limas will be first on the list.

I have yet to cook any of the beans that have not been superior to beans from other vendors and as some are unavailable anywhere else, he will continue to supply mine.

I have been using my rice cooker to cook beans - no soaking necessary (2 to 3 cups of water per cup of dried beans) - and am very pleased with the results following the suggestions in the Ultimate Rice Cooker cookbook. :wub:
Sometimes the larger type beans are not yet done enough at the end of the "basic" cycle so, as instructed in the cookbook, I add boiling water and restart the cycle.

This method has some great advantages for the easily distracted (me, in the garden, forgetting to check the stuff on the stovetop) and I have not had a single incident of scorched beans, which require discarding the entire pot.

Works great with combination dishes also. And I even prepared a passable version of baked beans in the rice cooker. Not in the cookbook, it was an experiment that worked. Now I hope I can repeat it! :laugh:

Edited by andiesenji, 07 September 2010 - 10:32 AM.

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#249 Jaymes

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:16 AM

I'm down the last of the beans I got from Rancho Gordo last January (Yellow Indian Woman, Flageolet, Good Mother Stallard, Tepary and Lila)
and am trying to decide what to order this time.
After reading Jaymes post, the large limas will be first on the list.


Andie, they were these: Rancho Gordo giant white lima beans

Speaking as someone that thought she hated lima beans, these were an absolute revelation.

I still can't get over it.



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Edited by Jaymes, 07 September 2010 - 11:18 AM.

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#250 andiesenji

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:55 AM

I just placed an order. No Giant white lima on list - probably waiting for new crop.
I ordered a couple I have not yet tried.
Ojo de Cabra Bean (Goat's Eye)
 Moro Beans     
Rebosero Bean                                
Snowcap Beans                                 
Christmas Lima Bean  
and
 Amaranth Seeds  

I'll order the Giant limas when they are available.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#251 rancho_gordo

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:45 PM

We haven't had the Giant white limas for years, so they might have been a little old. We have large white limas, which are not as sweet and really taste more what you expect from a lima. They have a more vegetable flavor, for better or worse. I love them with parma cheese.

I'm so glad the Reboseros are getting such a nice reception! A woman in her 60s was growing them single-handedly for us in Hidalgo but because they were so popular, her grandson, who was on his way to the states illegally, has decided to stay and work with his grandmother instead. I never dreamed that my selfish need to consume could make a real difference, but it did!
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#252 Jaymes

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:10 PM

We haven't had the Giant white limas for years, so they might have been a little old. We have large white limas, which are not as sweet and really taste more what you expect from a lima. They have a more vegetable flavor, for better or worse. I love them with parma cheese.

I'm so glad the Reboseros are getting such a nice reception! A woman in her 60s was growing them single-handedly for us in Hidalgo but because they were so popular, her grandson, who was on his way to the states illegally, has decided to stay and work with his grandmother instead. I never dreamed that my selfish need to consume could make a real difference, but it did!


Well, maybe what I had was just the large white limas, and not giant white limas.

I mean, they were pretty big.

And pretty white.

But maybe not giant.

I haven't had them that long so if you haven't had the giant white limas "for years," that couldn't be what we ate.
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#253 janeer

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 05:10 PM

I have yet to cook any of the beans that have not been superior to beans from other vendors and as some are unavailable anywhere else, he will continue to supply mine.



I am happy to know of RG, but wonder if you have tried Purcell Mountain? For selection and quality,I have always been extremely pleased. Do you know them? Is RG better quality (if not with the huge selection)as PM?

#254 Katie Meadow

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 06:39 PM

Whatever can't be had from RG I order from Purcell Mountain Farms. Purcell is my go-to source for dark red kidney beans--they are excellent quality, seem very fresh. They used to regularly stock the rattlesnake beans that I adore, but have been out of them for over a year now. The only place I've found that still carries rattlers is Urban Herbs; not as fresh as RG or Purcell beans, but better than no rattlers at all. If anyone knows another source for rattlesnake beans, don't keep it a secret, please. I've pestered RG about them several times, but no luck! Are they an endangered species, Steve? Get the Hidalgo granny interested in saving them too. Meanwhile tell her the Reboseros are delicious, and to keep 'em coming.

#255 andiesenji

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:19 PM

Whatever can't be had from RG I order from Purcell Mountain Farms. Purcell is my go-to source for dark red kidney beans--they are excellent quality, seem very fresh. They used to regularly stock the rattlesnake beans that I adore, but have been out of them for over a year now. The only place I've found that still carries rattlers is Urban Herbs; not as fresh as RG or Purcell beans, but better than no rattlers at all. If anyone knows another source for rattlesnake beans, don't keep it a secret, please. I've pestered RG about them several times, but no luck! Are they an endangered species, Steve? Get the Hidalgo granny interested in saving them too. Meanwhile tell her the Reboseros are delicious, and to keep 'em coming.



Marx foods in Washington state sells rattlesnake beans. They are out of stock right now, waiting for the new crop to come in.
Here's the link.

The only legume I have purchased from them are the fermented black beans. I have also purchased their dried wild mushrooms. Expensive but the quality is extraordinary. I also purchased camelina seeds to add yet another omega-3 fatty acid/antioxidant to my diet.

I have purchased from Purcell, and from Barry Farm. I buy from RG whenever possible because I want to support these small traditional native farmers.
I used to buy beans from Indian Harvest until I got a bad batch.
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#256 Katie Meadow

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:36 PM

Thanx, I'll watch for rattlers on the Marx Foods site. Surprisingly Marx has never come up on any search I've made for dried beans.

#257 Jaymes

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:20 AM


We haven't had the Giant white limas for years, so they might have been a little old. We have large white limas, which are not as sweet and really taste more what you expect from a lima. They have a more vegetable flavor, for better or worse. I love them with parma cheese.

I'm so glad the Reboseros are getting such a nice reception! A woman in her 60s was growing them single-handedly for us in Hidalgo but because they were so popular, her grandson, who was on his way to the states illegally, has decided to stay and work with his grandmother instead. I never dreamed that my selfish need to consume could make a real difference, but it did!


Well, maybe what I had was just the large white limas, and not giant white limas.

I mean, they were pretty big.

And pretty white.

But maybe not giant.

I haven't had them that long so if you haven't had the giant white limas "for years," that couldn't be what we ate.


Can't get the lima conundrum out of my mind.

I did get that bag out of the freezer, so I suppose it's possible it's been in there "for years" although I didn't think so.

The beans were about one inch long. Does that make them "giant" or simply large?

And they were so good. I'd even say fabulous. I had big plans to order more.

If 1" long does make them giant and you don't have any more right now, when, if ever, might you get more?

And if they're simply large and not giant, do you have any more large white limas I can order?
"And you, you're just a stinker."

#258 andiesenji

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:12 AM

Thanx, I'll watch for rattlers on the Marx Foods site. Surprisingly Marx has never come up on any search I've made for dried beans.



I have never seen them on a Google search either. One of my basenji friends, who lives in Seattle gave me their email address when I complained about the quality of some dried wild mushrooms I had purchased.
She said to inquire about their products and they sent me an email with their URL.
I also ordered the en croute duck paté to take to a party when I didn't have time to make up something. (I took three of them (there are 8 in the order) and they were gone almost instantly - I didn't even get a taste at the party.) :sad:
I later thawed one for brunch when a couple of friends were visiting, they raved about it and to me it was better than any I have made and mine are pretty good! :wub:
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#259 rancho_gordo

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:35 AM

Jaymes, I'm sure they were Large Limas. They're pretty big and we grow them. The Giants were obscenely big and would burst easily because the skins couldn't hold the bean inside. They were also sweet and a little potatoey, unlike the large limas which are really clearly a lima. They are wonderful! We had imported the giants (I think they needed more daylight hours than we can provide) and we grow the large limas here in California.

Re Rattlesnakes, we've never had enough seed to grow them and they are lovely, but very similar to pintos and it seemed other people were growing them, so there just didn't seem a need. Now it seems that whoever was growing them hopefully just had a bad year, but possibly they lost distributorship. Which brings me to another point: I'm not saying it's better or worse but we grow all of our beans in California except for the beans in the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project, which are grown in Mexico by small, indigenous farmers*. Some places are buying and distributing beans. This doesn't mean they aren't serious, it's just a different business. But it might explain why all of a sudden everyone has rattlesnakes and then all at once everyone is out of them.

(* We've been playing around with Peru imports, as the Giant Lima, but nothing serious yet)
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#260 andiesenji

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:07 PM

I'm bumping this topic up to let folks know that Purcell Mountain Farms now has Rattlesnake Beans, new crop in stock.

They don't usually last long so now is the time. I've ordered five pounds and am thinking of getting more as I use them for baked beans.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#261 Katie Meadow

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:30 PM

Yes, they got them in a couple of months ago. I'm about to place another order as well, along with dark red kidney beans. I use rattlers for everything I used to use pinto beans. They take a little longer to cook, but hold their shape better and have a richer flavor. Pintos might be the best if you were making refried beans, though.

In case you haven't tried them, I think Purcell carries the best kidney beans I've ever tasted. I've had the organic and the non-organic, and both are excellent. I'm pretty sure I couldn't tell them apart in a side-by-side tasting, but if organic matters to you and you are willing to pay a little more per pound, Purcell always has them.

#262 hannap

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:33 AM



for a while, i was afraid that my tombstone would read "did not soak beans". here's what i believe about beans:

 

Russ I absolutely agree with you. I think everything you state in your post is right.

I just wanna add another item to your list: Beans are more tasty when you cook them mixed with vegetables and condiments.

During the cooking process the beans double their size. That´s because they absorb a lot water.

If we cook them mixed with the other components of the recipe they absorb all the flavors we have choosen, so they integrate better to our dish.

In some receipes the beans seem to be like a flavor separated from the other components. That´s because they were soaked or boiled just in plain water so, when we cook them they have no capability of absorbing the other flavors.

Some people use to soak them with some condiments and salt, but as you say, the cold cooking is not as good as the hot one.

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#263 Ttogull

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:38 AM

I'm bumping this topic up to let folks know that Purcell Mountain Farms now has Rattlesnake Beans, new crop in stock.They don't usually last long so now is the time. I've ordered five pounds and am thinking of getting more as I use them for baked beans.


Thanks for the heads up! Rattlers are my favorite.

#264 andiesenji

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:41 AM

 

I'm bumping this topic up to let folks know that Purcell Mountain Farms now has Rattlesnake Beans, new crop in stock.They don't usually last long so now is the time. I've ordered five pounds and am thinking of getting more as I use them for baked beans.


Thanks for the heads up! Rattlers are my favorite.

 

I posted that two years ago.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#265 Ttogull

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:22 AM

I'm bumping this topic up to let folks know that Purcell Mountain Farms now has Rattlesnake Beans, new crop in stock.They don't usually last long so now is the time. I've ordered five pounds and am thinking of getting more as I use them for baked beans.


Thanks for the heads up! Rattlers are my favorite.
I posted that two years ago.

Too funny! I just saw November... I needed more anyway.
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#266 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:27 PM

Very timely that this thread should get bumped up!  For the last couple days I've been preparing for a pot of beans, black beans in this case.  Soaked the beans, rendered the lard, that sort of thing.

 

I started with a pound of beans.  For the lard I took a couple pounds of bacon ends and cooked them in water as andiesenji suggested.  I fished out and reserved the meaty bacon pieces, but did not crisp them right away.  After the water cooked down I added the remaining fat and stuff to a canning jar with baking soda and did the MC technique on them: 4 hours in the pressure cooker to render.  Beautiful clear lard.  Yum.

 

I chopped and sauteed an onion and some garlic in lard, in the pressure cooker bottom, along with a portion of the reserved bacon from above.  I added two bay leaves, a sprig of rosemary from the small tree sized bush that spends the winter in my dining room, and the pound of well soaked beans, drained of soaking liquid.  I added four cups of fresh water.  I cooked at low pressure for nine minutes, which was an amalgam of all sorts of contradictory cooking times.  (Pressure cooker method mainly from Cook's Illustrated.)

 

The beans taste delicious, but I'm at the moment reducing the liquid a bit before adjusting salt.


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker, 16 December 2013 - 11:50 PM.

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#267 pauleats

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:46 PM

Nice discussion, beans are really great. Going to buy some beans today. Right now, so glad having this topic here. There are really a lots of things in this forum that one would like to read and I hope the person will learn much from this great forum. Anyway, a little break to www.fence-system.com come back soon though.



#268 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:00 AM

I should have done less posting and perhaps more pot stirring.  The beans reduced more than I had intended.  I was aiming for something slightly soupy.  But, wow, were they good.  I am fond of beans but before acquiring a pressure cooker I almost always used canned...and then there was that time I used beans that had been a pie crust weight...

 

These were just delightful.  I served with sour cream, freshly ground black pepper, and a few shakes of salt.  There was no added salt in the pot, just the contribution from the bacon.  This dish made for the entire meal.

 

I'm thinking that maybe the four cups of added water, which is what I thought the CI folks had specified, was a bit too much.  Actually, upon rereading, the CI folks say "4 quarts"!  Oops.  I'm glad I didn't follow their directions.


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#269 Special K

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:39 AM

I've been using Mark Bittman's slow cooker method (http://www.nytimes.c...ooker.html?_r=0) since it ran in the NYT last June. Works every time. I mean, sometimes you just want to spend about five minutes in the morning and have a nice, hearty comfort dish when you get home. I was quite surprised that this didn't pop up here at the time.