You Can Make Beans

I’m always amazed that food writers and professional chefs, ordinarily so fussy about using only the freshest ingredients and cooking from scratch, invariably volunteer canned as an alternative to home-cooked beans in their recipes. That tells you something. It’s not that slow-cooked dried beans aren’t better, but canned beans are good, too, and so convenient.

In her New York Times column (“A Good Appetite,” June 5, 2013) Melissa Clark admitted that canned Great Northern beans, “turned out beautifully” in her White Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing. They proved superior to the dried cannellini and navy beans she tried first, which, “cooked up inconsistently, with some beans turning to mush while others remained stubbornly and unappealingly al dente.” And they were a lot “less costly” and “easier to deal with” than the vacuum-packed heirloom Italian controne beans she tried second.

I always stock flats of canned beans-black, kidney, garbanzos- to toss into salads or soups, turn into hummus or simmer for side dishes. A favorite weeknight or company side dish, which I call “Mexican Beans,” is made by combining a 15-ounce can of black or kidney beans with lightly sautéed onions, garlic, chopped canned tomatoes and a little chipotle in adobo; adding grated jarlsburg or cheddar cheese (whatever’s around); seasoning with some red wine, cumin and chile powder, and simmering covered for about 20 minutes over low heat and then uncovered until the mixture thickens sufficiently.

2 Comments

  • 1
    August 19, 2013 - 11:56 pm | Permalink

    ゴローズ 大イーグル

    • 2
      admin
      September 3, 2013 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Wish I could understand this. Can you translate? Thanks! THH

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