Kinds of Beans
Soups and Stews
Other Main Dishes
Excerpt from page 10
Keeping It Simple
All this discussion of how to cook beans, combined with the comparatively long cooking times of most of the recipes, could make you feel that cooking beans is a complicated, time-consuming process. It is not. Indeed, there's not much you can do to spoil a bean - it tolerates overcooking, fluctuating temperatures, and even interrupted cooking. As for time, beans do take a lot of it, but it's not your time. You don't have to watch or stir them through most of the cooking, and if you use low heat and proper utensils, you don't even have to be in the house for most of it.
The only thing that seems crucial in cooking beans well is long, slow cooking at low, low temperatures, rather than shorter cooking at high temperatures. The beans develop their own flavor; their skins are less inclined to fall off; and when the skins do come off, they gradually disintegrate into the bean broth.
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