I have an abundance of dried pinto beans. Any suggestions on how to use them?
By Lyn from Glenville, PA
What I do is keep a few and plant them outside, then I sort through the beans for rocks and then wash and rinse them. I then put them in a slow cooker or crock pot and put in water til they are covered. Usually at the end of the day they are done and ready to eat. I love them. Some people put ham in there to cook with it but I never do. If gas is a problem for eating them, then rinse them before serving in a colander.
I love eating bread dipped into the liquid they are cooked in too. I love crock pot beans!
Consider yourself very lucky. Pinto beans are one of the most flavorful of all dried beans, and you can do almost anything with them. Cook them first with just a pinch of sugar which helps to tender them faster. NO SALT until they are completely tender as it hardens the centers.
Add bits of ham or ham hocks, or white salt bacon cut up in small pieces and black pepper. I add a dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce as well. You can add chopped celery, onion and garlic for a delicious soup to be eaten over rice or with cornbread.
If you want to make baked beans, just cook them in plain water with a bit of sugar until they are tender. Add salt to taste, and drain off some of the liquid if there is too much. Save it for soup to be eaten with potatoes cut up in it. Add whatever you normally would add to canned beans to make your baked beans, brown sugar, mustard, catsup, syrup, onion etc.
Cook them first, then drain most of the liquid off, mash them and use them as refried beans or in any kind of Tex-Mex recipe that calls for beans. Beans are so good for us, chock full of nutrition and when eaten with rice (brown preferably), they are a perfect protein.
If they cause stomach gas, it's because our systems are not used to processing that vegetable protein, but if you eat them regularly, your system will strengthen, and they don't cause discomfort after a little while. We grew up eating beans, rice, cornbread and a hot sweet tomato sauce that my mother made to spoon over the beans by the person eating them. It was very spicy hot, but so delicious, so I learned to like it very early on and tolerate the heat.
We ate everything with chopped onion sprinkled over the beans and rice, and fresh sliced tomatoes in season, and almost always freshly made coleslaw that was not sweet. Apple cider vinegar mixed with a bit of mayonnaise or sour cream was enough with salt and pepper. Just plain old home-cooked food at its best. Nothing fancy, but nourishing and very delicious.
For a lot of those kinds of beans, I make a bean dip. Just replace whatever bean for chickpeas. Also add to soups, a salad with the beans, a hard boiled egg, lettuce, tomatoes, maybe some tuna.
I love pinto beans, too. My method of cooking is to put them on in a big pot. Boil for about 10 min. Turn off heat and let sit about an hour. Drain, add new water, a pinch of baking soda and cook until done. I like onions and ham added when they are about done, along with a bit of garlic powder, bay leaf and/or other seasoning. The baking soda seems to prevent the gassiness. Never salt until the beans are cooked.
I make a huge pot of Pinto Beans at least once a week and then make chili w/beans the second day. I never soak Pintos. I start them in a pot with about three times the amount of water, two or three cloves of garlic depending on size and boil them hard and fast for about twenty to twenty-five minutes and then simmer until soft. I then add about a tablespoon of olive oil or creamy JIF peanut butter, salt and pepper and simmer an additional ten minutes or so. The next day I make chili and beans with them. We only like chili made with Gebhardt's Chili Powder and now that we live on the east coast where Gebhardt's is not carried, I either order Gebhardt's on Amazon or have friends or family bring me six of seven bottles when they visit from Texas or California. Think Gebhardt's might be carried everywhere West of Texas and Oklahoma.
I tried to make them in a crockpot one time only but they cooked up way too hard for our taste. We like them very soft. I think boiling them first on the stove and transferring to a crockpot after they are partially cooked might work better in a crockpot, but have yet to try it.
For the person in NY with the hard beans, know that I just learned that the water you make your beans in plays a HUGE part in the results of your recipe. I could not make a creamy bean recipe for years until a friend in OK asked me if we had "hard" water in Los Angeles and we sure do! I made a pot of beans using bottled water and for the first time in 27 years, I made the perfect, creamy pot of pinto beans that were just perfect in texture with a lovely, pink-milky "sauce" from the beans. I just bought a half gallon jug of water at the local market for about a dollar and it truly made a big difference.
I am seeking a tried and true recipe from anyone from Oklahoma or Texas for "Chili Beans." I am not seeking a recipe for your basic chili with beans but just pinto beans that are cooked with chili powder, bay leaves, some type of pork fat and whatever else may be in this old-fashioned recipe.
My husband's mother grew up in OK and my husband is trying to find a recipe close to what his mother made for his family. I've tried tons of recipes in the past and was just wondering if there is one ingredient that is common for this pot of simple "chili beans" that I don't know about yet. My husband either comments that the color of the beans either isn't right (not too dark enough) or that there's something missing.
Anyone have any suggestions or a great recipe stashed away that their grandmother wrote down? Help!
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