Kitchen Q&A

Soaking beans helps them cook faster

 

The Charlotte Observer

Q. Why are we supposed to soak dried beans? It’s seems like such an elaborate step. I’ve cooked dried black-eyed peas in boiling water in about 90 minutes without soaking them.

Soaking dried beans isn’t all that elaborate, but it does take remembering to cover them with water the night before. The reason we do it is because beans are dried for storage. If you don’t soak them, you’re looking at a longer cooking time.

Once upon a time, cooking something meant chopping wood or burning something expensive like coal. So cooking efficiency was critical. You didn’t want to burn more calories than you’d gain by eating the food.

These days, it’s easy to speed dried-bean prep with the quick-soak method: Cover them with water, bring them a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let them stand one hour and then cook them. It’s much easier and quicker than overnight soaking.

Since black-eyed peas are smaller than, say, a Great Northern bean, they may cook through faster. The age of dried beans also makes a difference in how long it takes them to cook. Beans that are especially old, like the ones people use in decorative jars, can cook for a long time without ever completely softening. So you also may have gotten lucky with your source of black-eyed peas.

Read more Food stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Spices galore: </span>Chipotle carrot soup topped with cumin roasted chickpeas.

    Cooking

    Spices of life: Seasonings every home cook should have in their pantry

    From adobo to za’atar, 26 spices to lively up your every meal. Plus: Where to find them.

  • Shopper’s Dictionary

    Hot sauce to try: Piri Piri

    What is it? Swahili for pepper pepper, piri piri is a small, bright-red, very hot bird’s eye chile that originated in Portugal before being spread to parts of Africa, South Africa and India. Also spelled pili pili or peri peri, the pepper is most commonly found in a hot sauce that includes garlic, lemon juice, paprika and other spices. It is fantastic slathered on roasted chicken and grilled fish.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Try it at home: </span>The roasted carrots and avocado from Huckleberry restaurant in California can now be made in your kitchen.

    Culinary SOS

    Restaurant recipe: Roasted carrots with avocado

    Dear SOS: Ever since trying the roasted carrots and avocado from Huckleberry Bakery and Café in Santa Monica, California, I can’t stop thinking about them. They taste more like French fries, even though they are just roasted carrots. I’m dying for the recipe. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category