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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Best Luck Using Dry Beans-- So EASY!

Well this is the second time I've used the no presoak method to prepare dry beans. I did black beans first, now I've done great northern beans.

What I did is rinse and sort the beans--pick out any that looked shrively or odd.

I put them in my enameled cast iron dutch oven (from Aldi! $29.00), and I then poured in enough water to more than cover the beans. I didn't measure anything, just made sure that the water was at least couple inches above the beans. I ended up with about 4 cups of beans so I must have used about 2 cups dry.

I brought the beans to a boil, then turned the stove down and let them simmer for about an hour. At that point I added some soup base as flavoring-- I happen to use tones usually, for the white beans today I used both a chicken flavor base and a bit of a ham base--for some smokey flavor.

I then continued to cook the beans until they began to look softer and fuller. I started them at about 8 am and by 10:30 they were ready to add some to soup and freeze the rest in containers the way I do my soup, they can be frozen right in the cooking liquid!

I'll have enough pre-cooked beans for a few meals from one batch.

The beans came out just wonderful--tender and nicely flavored. EASY PEASY!

I like to keep them now in my fridge top freezer in 1/2 cup or 1 cup portions--this way I can use them quickly if needed when I'm cooking. I like them tossed on a salad or in a soup or chili or salsa. Very good for about 1/2 the price of canned beans and with far less salt.

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