Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pinto Beans

I've heard people complain about soaking dried beans, but I think that's silly. Dried beans really just take the tiniest bit of forethought, and I can give you 5 reasons right now why dried beans are better than canned: (1) seriously lower in sodium than canned beans (2) way easier to get your hands on in Japan (3) make your whole house smell earthy & yummy when they're cooking (4) taste better (5) cheaper. So, dried beans--don't be scared.

Anyway, beans in general are pretty awesome (tasty & super healthy), and i really wanted to finish off this bag of pintos. You could use black or whatever--just not adzuki. This recipe is seriously simple and just goes to show that you don't need a bunch of fancy ingredients to make something taste really really good.


6 cups water (or water + vegetable broth)
2 cups dried pinto beans
1 onion, diced
2 medium green bell peppers, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste (1)
salt & pepper to taste

(1) トマトペースト

The pinto beans are from Corocao Do Brasil in Takaoka. The onion and peppers are from the yasaiya near Kosugi Station. Everything else is from Albis in Kosugi.

I listened to Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd-Jazz Samba while cooking this.

Let's Go!
1. Soaking your beans not only reduces cooking time and facilitates even cooking, it also reduces the amount of the indigestible sugars that cause gas. So soak your beans (2:1 water to bean ratio). All you have to do is put them in water the night before (if you're cooking in the morning) or before you go to work in the morning (for dinner time). Make sure you dump the soaking water (it's full of dirt & the aforementioned indigestible sugars) and give the beans a quick rinse when you're ready to cook. Before & after shot:

2. Bring your water (or vegetable broth + water) to a boil. Add beans, onion, pepper, celery, & garlic. Do not add salt, tomato, or anything acidy at this point. Your beans won't cook right. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

3. Chill out, prepare the rest of your meal, have a glass of wine. You can check to make sure your pan isn't dry from time to time, but if you are cooking on low heat, you should have enough water to finish. The beans should take 1-1 1/2 hours to cook.

4. When the beans are tender (not mushy), add tomato paste, salt, and pepper.

5. Now, this is the part that will give your beans that authentic southern style texture. Take a fork and smash some of the beans against the side of the pan. Give everything a stir, and now they're nice and thick. If you aren't sure how much to smash, you can scoop out about a cup of beans, mash them in a separate bowl, and then stir them back in. Remember, things will thicken up even more once you take the pan off the burner.


Perhaps the best way to eat these beans is with rice, but I go through serious rice hate from time to time in this country, so I just ate them with a bunch of vegetables, cornbread, and homemade vegan andouille. Perfect!


sarary man said...

droool, what flavor sausage is that? if you tell me it's a hot link, i dont know WHAT i'll do omg

disco said...

hey i used this recipe: http://vegandad.blogspot.com/2008/05/gumbo-with-vegan-andouille-sausage.html