Super-quick post, just to report two things:
1. That no-soak beans method really does work. Made black beans yesterday and they came out perfect.
2. The recipe for Spicy, Citrusy Black Beans on Simply Recipes ROCKS. For Harry’s sake I toned down the spice a bit by using just the sauce from the chipotles rather than the whole peppers. After tasting I realized it was still going to knock his wee socks off, so I added a diced sweet potato. That calmed things down considerably. But of course, even though Harry was super-excited to try the beans (adding the orange juice really sent him over the top), he took one bite and said, “this doesn’t really taste very good, Mommy.” But I’m here to tell you: My son is WRONG. These beans are wonderful. Go, make some. Now.
Thanks to Rebecca for asking a very important question in the comments: Is it ok to use already-cooked beans, and not use the seasoning called for in the recipe? That’s exactly what I did. My beans were cooked in plain water & salt. I added a bay leaf to the pot with the onions, etc, and it was full of flavor. I imagine this means it’ll work well with a couple of cans of beans, too, with their liquid, as long as you buy a low-sodium variety (that liquid can be mighty salty otherwise).
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I'm always looking for good recipes for pulses and lentils. I scored some dried Serranos a few weeks ago – a bit of a coup Down Under, so might have to give this a go Serrano style.
So, wait, can I make this if I cooked the beans yesterday? Or do the seasonings not work out as well if you don't include them from the dry bean stage?
Rebecca, I should've explained that in the post–thanks for reminding me! I didn't use the seasonings to cook the beans initially. I just added a bay leaf to the simmering portion of the recipe, with the onions, etc.
I often add black beans (seasoned or not) to pasta, with marinara sauce and other vegetables, usually. I wonder if harry would enjoy them that way?
Kerry, I've never added black beans to pasta! Cannellini, chick peas, lentils, yes. I'll have to give it a shot next time I make them. And your guess is as good as mine about what Harry will eat–that child is just killing me.
Debbie, My grandson had a tough time early on and was diagnosed with “failure to thrive.” His Norwegian Great Grandma suggested we try sardines in Olive oil (Crown Prince Brand only!)and avocados. For some reason that combination appealed to him and helped him recoup some of the weight he had lost and he’s doing very well now. He liked the sardines in tomato sauce, too. Go figure.
Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you offer. It’s great to know they’ve really been tested on real people.