Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ceçi n'est pas un black bean


They are black, and they are beans, but I don't think they're "black beans," or at least "Mexican black beans." I bought them a while ago at the Korean supermarket and they came in a bag labeled, "BLACK BEANS," along with a bunch of Korean text.

I branched out and tried making some Mexican rice and black beans because I had a craving for Mexican black beans. Well, "black beans." But these beans don't soften the way the black beans I was thinking of normally soften. I pre-soaked and cooked for nearly two hours and still they had a certain "crispness" to them. I don't have a word for it. Same thing when I used them in my gamjatang. Hmm. Well, lesson learned; I'll pick up Mexican black beans next time I want to make 'em. The question is what to do with the rest of these Korean black beans. In any case, the flavor was pretty good, but could have been stronger. More cumin. Maybe I should also have added more salt (same with the rice. I tend to go a little less than is asked for). I wonder if these beans acted differently than Mexican black beans would have.

As for the rice, aside from needing a touch more salt, it turned out pretty well, too. Well, I burned the bottom layer of rice in the pot. I should have turned the heat down lower, but I haven't cooked rice on the stove before! All the Asian families I know use rice cookers. Also, using long grain rice and baking it in the oven would have helped it be less moist, which I think is what's expected. But I don't have a Dutch oven. Would it be safe to put a normal pot into the oven? Would it burn the food? Alright, so I also kept the onions and tomatoes just diced and not puréed since I like that, whereas the poster of the recipe seemed to disapprove of it.

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