Posts Tagged by bean sorting
|June 14, 2013|
Let’s talk chili. It’s probably one of the easiest things you will ever make (microwave food excluded) but to me, it was one of those things that seemed tough and a little intimidating. There are so many ingredients and most recipes are made to slow cook, what if I add too much of something and then when it’s time to eat my chili is inedible?
Seriously. I have nightmares about making food for a party and ruining it and everyone at the party goes hungry and starves and it’s all my fault … I am a strange one.
Anyways, back to my point: chili is one of the easiest things you will ever make. Put it in a pot and leave it there all day. Come for dinner and it’s ready!
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
- 1 cup dry black beans (cooking directions below) OR 2 cans black beans, drained
- 24 oz boneless chicken breast (about 3-4 breasts)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1 chopped jalapeño
- 1 small can of chopped green chilies
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 can of corn
- 3 chopped roma tomatoes
- 2 cups of chopped Okra (20 oz.)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (about 1 handfull)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbs cumin
- plain greek yogurt to top it off with
Put all the ingredients together in a slow-cooker, excluding the Greek yogurt. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 3 hours. You may need to add extra water to your chili depending on your slow cooker. Temperatures can vary, making the required water amount vary. Once it’s done, pull the chicken breasts out of the slow cooker and shred the meat. Put the shredded meat back in the pot and stir. Serve and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt – it makes a great sour cream substitute!
Also, chili is so easy to play around with and change things up. If you don’t like okra or want things a little more spicy, this is the dish to experiment with. Feel free to substitute things or add more of what you like and less of what you don’t. It really is harder to mess up chili. As long as you have the right seasonings you are good to go!
**if you want to use pre-cooked chicken, instead of doing 2 1/2 cups of water, use 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water. A lot of the flavor is coming from the chicken, and if yours is already cooked, the chicken flavor wont seep into the chili as much as needed for flavor.
How to Make Your Own Beans
Forget the canned stuff. Yea, you can use it – but making your own is SO much cheaper. A couple pounds of beans cost just as much as a couple cans (generally). So I opt to making my own beans. Another plus is that it doesn’t have all the preservatives that canned beans have.
First, measure the beans. My chili recipe calls for one cup, so that’s where you’d start.
Then you sort the beans. Most of the packaging that beans come in have cooking directions. But “sorting” is where most package directions fail to include or explain. Sorting beans is something you have to do by hand. I think the easiest way to do it is by pouring some of the uncooked beans onto a large cutting board or tray making it easy to see all the beans. It’s even easier if the tray or cutting board is the opposite color of the beans. For instance, it was very easy to see the black beans on my white cutting board.
Then section by section, I drag the ‘normal-looking’ beans off the cutting board, into my colander. The beans you don’t want in your colander are the ones that look deformed or misshapen and rock/dirt clumps. Yea, those rock-like clumps are dirt. If you get it wet and then mush it between your fingers, it turns to mud. GROSS! That’s why we sort the beans. You don’t really need to worry about beans that are halved like some of them in my pile above, but I like to get them out just because I figure I am already going through all the work, I might as well. But most people let those be.
Next, rinse the beans in colander. Rinse them well … we did just pull some dirt out of the pile after all.
Then pour the beans in the pot with the 4 cups of water (1 to 4 ratio). The water doesn’t really need to be exact. You generally just need to make sure the beans have plenty of water to soak up. You always want there to be extra water in there so if you don’t want to measure (I don’t normally measure) just be sure to check on the beans every so often to make sure they have plenty of water.
Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 – 2 hours until it’s reaches the desired softness or put it in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to use the beans, drain and rinse the beans again.
You might be asking yourself, do I need to drain the beans? Can I cook with that water? (or at least I asked myself that)
Soaking the beans allows some of the indigestible sugars to be released from the beans themselves. You know why people say beans give them gas? If you drain them after soaking, there’s less of those sugars to give you any digestion discomfort. – Also found out, your plants will LOVE this water. So if you don’t like to waste, introducing your new plant food.