Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Consider Buttering My Bread Cooking

So, like. . . I'm taking a break from me studiousness. But now I am wrenched with a vex. "Why," might you be asking, am I irritated? With myself, of course.

Since I have been le fini with school, I've been cooking at home. A passion of mine that I love to do. I've missed it for 6-months and I'm entirely sick of eating out. My waist line is unhappy with me over all this eating out too. In the end, I would rather have a home cooked meal than a restaurant meal anytime, anyplace, any day. My last weeks cooking has consisted mainly fresh fruits and vegetables. Speaking of which. . . . have any of you realized how expensive said items are now at the grocery? Holy cripes! Though, this is not why I am irritated.

I am bothered due to my latest creation. Just over 24-hours ago I began to cook a pot of sopa de frijoles negros. AKA: Black Bean Soup. High in fiber and low in fat. Awesome! Directions are as follows:

Soaking: Place beans in a large pot, cover with 2 quarts of water. Allow to soak over night, or at least 8-hours.
  1. after soaking, drain water, add 7 cups of water
  2. bring beans to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2-hours
  3. in a skillet, saute onion, pepper and ham*** for about 5-minutes
  4. add mixture to bean pot. Simmer uncovered for 1/2-hour
  5. add contents of seasoning packet. Simmer for additional 1/2-hour

I followed the directions to a "T" minus the ham. What's the problemo you ask? Well, I ask it too! The beans are still as hard as a rock. Hard. As in my dog(s) wouldn't even eat that. Blehck.

To be honest, I did somewhat deviate from the recipe as I was reading yesterday on the Internetz, ". . . Some people blame beans for intestinal distress. It actually isn't the fiber in the beans that causes gas but a sugar that requires an enzyme to be digested, which humans lack. When soaking beans, add a pinch of baking soda to the water. It will help leach out the sugar from the beans, making you less gassy after eating them. Also, to avoid the sugar, don't cook the beans in their soaking water. . . " so, I added a pinch of baking soda and didn't cook them in their bath water.

Does anyone know if adding baking soda will cause a hardening of the beans? Have I done wrong? I was only trying to help my as well as the husbands intestinal distresses.

Um. One more thing. I just checked my second time around simmering soup. Not only do the beans continue to be hard enough to load in a BB gun for ammo, it appears that my genius-chicken-instead-of-ham-idea has turned a tasty looking purple. Yep. You read that right. The chicken is now freekin' purple.

Pffft. Stoopid bean sopa.

*** I exchanged the ham for chicken. Brilliant! Mucho healthier, right? Hmpf. If you have not already, please re-read the 2nd to last paragraph above. I see now that there is a reason pig instead of fowl is used. Whatever.

I'm going back to studying. . . le sigh.


Jay said...

Did you cook the beans in a crock pot? For some reason my beans never get soft in the crock pot.

Normally soaking is the big key. That's what softens them up.

Also, I peel a potato and toss it in with the beans. The potato absorbs the gassyness of the beans (more or less) and just before the potato starts to get black or fall apart a bit pull it out and toss it.

I've never tried the baking soda.

Jen said...

Jay: Nope. No crock pot here - except in my big head. . . I soaked the beans for 24-hours in a soup pot! Then all this simmering business. I did it all.

I'm attempting to re-boil to see what that does. If it doesn't work out, I was going to toss the sopa down the disposal anyhow. Might as well try something before wasting 24+ hours of bean soup making.

Nice idea on the potato! I'd never heard of that or the baking soda before now.

Ian said...

Removing pig from any dish is a tactical mistake. Add more pig, always. Last night I ate pigs feet with bacon. That's hardcore deliciousness.

Real Live Lesbian said...

I have to agree with Ian. Pig is the bomb diggity.

The beans are probably PISSSED that there's no ham. Chicken? Stop that shit! Ham and beans. Always.

Chief Rock Chef said...

I often have trouble with stuff that has to be soaked - can't really help you here. Purple chicken sounds like fun, though. Like the time I wanted to make pasta more fun for the kids and turned it electric blue! No one wanted to eat it!

Jen said...

Ian: it WAS a tactical mistake. I lost the war b/c of it. Wait. . . Um. . . I lost the war b/c my beans are still as hard as ammo. Two times the bacon? You ARE hardcore!

RRL: Truth be told. The beans are even more pissed now that I tossed them down the disposal!

Rock Chef: I would have thought that "yeah, purple chicken! How fun!" But no, even I knowing it was chicken didn't want to eat it. Electric blue noodles? And no one wanted to bite? What?! I would've, for sure! I'm brave like that.

tt said...

Hummm...the only beans I cook are Pinto or Great Northern. If I soak them the night before...and finse and use fresh only takes about 3-4 hours for them to get soft. Ham is a must though!! Make some corn bread...ala 'Jiffy", which is sweet, and poot the beens on top of that...OMG!! Call the Gods and tell them dinner is ready!!

Freakazojd said...

Here's my theory...I tried cooking a split pea soup one day and did the whole soaking thing...and they were still like little pellets. My mom said "How old are they?" So maybe the beans were on the shelf (if not at your place, then maybe at the store?) for too long. If you try it again, let me know how it goes. :)

Fi said...

How did it work out?
Age can definitely be a factor as well as the fact that I always find any beans/pulses (chick peas are in the same family right?) take way longer than the suggested cooking time.
I cooked chick peas in Cyprus and it took hours and several water top ups.

CheekyMonkey said...

That recipe is BS. You have to cook them for at least another hour. Same crap happened to me when I was making some ridiculous Veggie chili or something like that. Total BS on the packaging.