Months ago I bought bags of dried beans in an attempt to cut down on the amount of packaging I was using. Plus, they were cheaper, had less added sodium and weren’t swimming in mystery syrup.
Still, that meant I had these bags of beans just sitting there taking up cupboard space. I bought a bag of black, kidney, garbanzo and great northern beans. First I used the black beans, which are probably my favorite and, I think, easiest to use. I sprinkled them on salads with chopped romaine and shreds of sharp cheddar and black pepper. And I made Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad, which I will be posting about in the near future.
But then I opened the kidney beans. I soaked them overnight in cold water and then simmered for an hour and a half to cook the beans. From there, theoretically, they can be used in many ways. Confession, kidney beans aren’t my favorite and I was at a loss at how to use them. Then I remembered a rustic white bean mash I used to make in college. It’s basically cooked white beans mashed with garlic, herbs and drizzled with olive oil. Use it as a dip for fresh veggies or spread on small slices of chewy, toasted bread.
Sounds lovely right? Kidney bean mash, at least this one was not so versatile.
The mash itself wasn’t bad. I added garlic, salt and a dash of red pepper flakes. But I wanted to see how far it would go. I had some chicken strips stuffed in the freezer and thought why don’t I bake them and serve them with fried bean patties.
The mash formed well into rounds and the first batch started sizzling well. I was so jazzed; I could already taste those fried little nuggets being dipped into a yogurt and sriracha sauce. And then it all went to shit.
I don’t know where the foam came from. Cooking is all about science, so I’m sure there was some sort of chemical reaction going on. I know beans give you gas, so does that mean they themselves are gaseous? That’s my theory anyway.
So after the first batch of patties dissolved into the oil, I just fried up the chicken strips and served them in a nest of the remaining mash. Over the top I drizzled a few spoonfuls of the cloudy bean oil and then doused the whole plate in sriracha. It was interesting to say the least.
Oh well, better luck next time.