I love black beans.
I buy small containers of black beans from a local Cuban restaurant.
They are good but expensive. Plus, the restaurant is far away, adding the feeling of a pilgrimage to buy them.
I could eat one container in one sitting, but I stretch the beans by adding them to burritos, salads, or rice. Sometimes, I do eat them plain. They are so good.
Yesterday I decided I would break the cycle and cook my own black beans from scratch.
Dried organic black turtle beans sell for $3.99 a pound at my grocer, less than the cost of one small container of cooked beans.
I approach this with trepidation.
I have not had good luck cooking black beans. Probably too much liquid or too little attention to the beans as they cooked resulting in mushy, flavorless beans.
To begin this rustic cooking journey, I measured one cup of dried beans and soaked them overnight in the refrigerator.
This morning I rinsed them and tossed any questionable beans.
While the beans drained in a colander, I toasted cumin, smoked Spanish paprika and a few chili flakes for less than a minute. The smell was incredible.
Then I added the beans and water, bringing them to a boil.
Now they are simmering with the lid halfway over the pot, a compromise to covering or not covering the pot.
Wish me luck!