I’ve never cooked with black beans before so thought I’d give them a go instead of cooking my normal kidney bean mix for gluten-free enchiladas. I got my hands on a packet of Black Turtle Beans, making sure I didn’t get mixed up with the black bean (aka black gam or black lentil) that is found in many Asian grocery stores. This recipe is a bit time-consuming but worth it for the final product. Soak the beans for at least 6 hours and allow some extra time for them to cook. Or if you want to cheat, use canned beans. This recipe serves approx 6 people.
1 pound of dried black beans, picked over for stones or foreign objects,
2-3 inch piece of kombu (optional)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of fresh coriander, chopped
Squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)
1 jalapeno chili, minced (optional, take the seeds out if you want to cut the heat)
1. Place the beans and the kombu in a large glass bowl or pot. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by at least 3 inches. Let stand overnight or at least 6 hours. If the room is warm, put the beans in the refrigerator to soak.
2. Drain and rinse the beans, reserving the kombu. Place the beans and kombu in a large, heavy pot with enough water to cover by 3 inches.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming the foam/scum that rises to the top.
4. Lower the heat to low and simmer gently, covered for 1 hour.
5. Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed frypan over medium heat.
6. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently until tender, about 10 minutes.
7. Turn the heat down low and cover the frypan with a lid or baking tray to soften the onions and garlic without allowing them to brown.
8. If you want a spicy mixture, add the jalapeno and cook for 1 minute until tender.
9. Remove the kombu from the beans and discard.
10. Add the sautéed onion mixture, salt and most of the coriander (save a bit for a garnish) to the beans and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until very tender.
11. Drain the beans but keep 2 cups of cooking liquid (put a bowl under your sieve or colander).
12. Pour 1 cup of liquid back into the beans and mash the beans with a fork until you have the desired consistency. Add more liquid, if necessary. Taste for seasoning and squeeze some fresh lime juice on top, if desired.
13. Heat up your gluten-free tortillas by following the directions on the packet. I recommend you serve the beans on their own. Super yum!
Many thanks to Pamela Salzman for this recipe – http://pamelasalzman.com/mexican-black-beans/
She also has a great bean cooking guide here – http://pamelasalzman.com/how-to-cook-beans-from-scratch/