The house is filled with the aroma of cumin and bay. Oh. So lovely, it is.
I’m cooking black beans this morning and I thought I’d share the how-to with you.
Last night after supper, I rinsed a big bag of black beans and started them soaking. No way would I want to try the quick-boil method with black beans; they are too firm for that. After breakfast, I dumped out the soaking water, rinsed them, added them back to the pot and filled up the pot with fresh water. I’m cooking my 2 lbs. of beans with 4 bay leaves and a heaping tablespoon of cumin. Hopefully you can find inexpensive bay leaves and cumin in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. Both those items will be cheaper there than in the spice aisle. When the beans are tender in a few hours, I will add salt, but not before. Be prepared to be patient with your black beans. For my 2lb. bag of dried beans, I will have a yield of about 3 quarts of cooked beans. The eight of us will eat up one big jar for a meal. The rest I’ll put in mason jars to keep for weekday lunches.
Here’s the thing about black beans: they are firmer than other beans. It’s that firmness that makes them perfect for veggie burgers, bean salsas, or any other bean dish where you’d like to see an intact bean. I very much enjoy their meaty flavor. I also really like the thick, dark bean broth you get when you cook black beans. Poured over rice, it’s a savory sauce. When someone smiles and says, “I’m having black beans and rice,” she’s thinking about black beans nestled on top of a bed of hot rice, black bean gravy making rivers down the pile, black beans topped with yogurt for tartness and salsa for spiciness.
Black beans cooked with cumin are so good. So, so good. I think you’ll enjoy both the cooking and eating.
Happy aromas to you!