Beans are wonderful. The flexibility, the variety, the protein content, and the economy of these little gems make them a staple in our kitchen. I recommend purchasing dried beans in the bulk section of your favorite grocery, one that has a fairly quick turnover as fresh beans cook faster. Here is a brief method for preparing basic beans, ready to be used in whatever recipe your heart desires.
- Measure out beans into a large bowl or pot and fill with water. Swish the water around until you see the shriveled or broken beans float to the top. Spend a few moments sorting these out, as well as any wayward pebbles.
- Dump beans into a colander and rinse well.
- Transfer the beans to a large cooking pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam if necessary.
- Turn the heat to low, salt to taste, and cover loosely. Simmer the beans, stirring about every 10 minutes, adding additional liquid as needed, until they achieve your desired tenderness (30min -2 hours depending on what beans you are using). Note: if you intend to re-cook the beans it is best that they are tender but still intact.
- You may now either store the beans with their liquid in the fridge for up to three days or drain as serve as they are.