I think I speak for most people when I say that I like to keep my pantry stocked with a range of tinned beans. Kidney beans, chickpeas, borlotti beans, cannelini beans, butter beans... so on and so forth. But there are some types of tinned beans I just can't get a hold of easily. Adzuki beans... navy beans... and black beans! When I lived in Sydney I could get quite a lot of choice at the GNC on Glebe Point Road, and I'm sure that Macro stocks a whole bunch. But since coming to Brisbane, I've been a bit stuck. I've been to Mrs Flannery's, but of late the selection has been very sad and one of their stores doesn't stock tinned beans at all in winter!
I was sick and tired of not having black beans, and so I bought a big bag of dried beans. A lot. And then I cooked them. Cooking beans from scratch is super fun and makes you feel very virtuous. The dried beans were beautiful, shiny and black. And when you first put the water on to soak them they look like pretty black river stones. So nice! By the next day they had expanded quite a lot! So I ended up cooking them in 2 batches so there would be enough room in the pot. Most of the books I have said that it would take 1.5-2 hours to cook, but mine cooked in under an hour, so the moral of the story is always check your beans regularly for being done.
I'm not sure how much I started with in dry weight, but I ended up with 14.5 cups of cooked black beans! Hurrah! I divided them up into snaplock bags in 1 cup, 1.5 cup and 2 cup quantities to put in the freezer, so now I can make black bean recipes whenever I wish - tee hee! Here they are all packaged up and ready to go in the freezer.
And here is my first black bean recipe!
Black Bean Burgers, from Veganomicon, which I had for lunch. Yummy! I had it on a turkish roll with baby spinach leaves, fresh roma tomatoes and ketchup, and it was absolutely wonderful. After years of dodgy vegan burger and ball recipes that just crumbled before they were even formed, it is wonderful to have recipes that form and stay formed.
Stay tuned for more adventures in black beans! 12.5 cups worth of adventures, in fact.