Today I decided it was time, for the first time ever, to cook dry beans on the stove top.
I know, I know, the pressure cooking queen (and rice cooker fall-back gal) going old school? Well, the funny thing about creating recipes for a book is that I have to remember that not everyone has a pressure cooker – or rice cooker – so I decided to try making beans without either. I enlisted help from my Facebook and Twitter friends, who gave me lots of great advice.
I soaked 2+ cups of dry, red kidney beans (16-oz bag) overnight. I rinsed them (very well) and let them drain. In a big pot, I sautéed a clove of garlic and half an onion (diced) in a little olive oil. I added two bay leaves, the beans and six cups of water. I brought the beans to a boil on medium-high heat. I covered the pot, reduced the heat to medium-low, and cooked for one hour. I added 1/2 a iodized sea salt teaspoon of salt, covered and reduced the heat further, to simmer, for 20 minutes.
The beans came out perfect and I am happy to now know how to cook them stove top but, for the record, pressure cooking beans remains my method of choice.
As the beans were cooling on the counter, and my need for lunch grew stronger, I decided to make a quick, big salad. I steamed two ears of corn for eight minutes in my electric steamer (chopping the other veggies during the steam time) then ran the ears under cold water, cut the corn from the cobb, and added the bright yellow kernels to the mix.
Chopped Salad with Cashew Chipotle Dressing
For the Salad
- 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup red kidney beans (cooked or canned), rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 2 pinches salt
For the Dressing
- 1/3 cup cashews (raw, unsalted)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle (powder)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- Fresh ground pepper
Lately I have been spending a whole lot of time writing about recipes but not so much time actually making them. It felt really great to throw myself back into the kitchen this morning, with no real plan, and to walk out with a delicious, healthy and hearty meal.
I mean really great.