Monday, February 13, 2012

Two important techniques: Flash Freezing and Cooking Dried Beans

It looks like I need to play catch up!! I haven't posted lately, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been cooking up a storm.

In the past few weeks I have finished all my canned tomato sauce and the last of the farmer's market onions *tear*. That just means I am looking even more forward to summer coming!!

But in good news I have found the joy in dried beans!! Not only are they cheaper and with less preservatives, but they are also easier to store in my limited space!!

How to cook dried beans
1. Rinse beans and remove any damaged beans.
2. Place dried beans in a bowl of water over night. Beans will expand to about 2 1/2 times their dried measure size, so ensure that there is enough water in the bowl to cover the beans even after they expand
3. Simmer beans in a large pot of water for approximately 1 hour, make sure the water level in the pot is always over the beans., also skim any foam off the top (especially with chichpeas)
4. Drain and rinse beans. Never cook beans after you boil them in the same water they were boiling in.
At this point the beans are ready to be used for any recipe you would used canned beans

Flash Freezing
The most important method to know for any batch cooking or freezer cooking. This process will help you freeze each item individully so that you can defrost only the amount you need for each recipe.
1 Cook the items as directed. Remove from the oven on baking sheets. When the items and baking sheets have cooled, place them baking sheet and all into the freezer. Ensure that none of the items are touching when they go into the freezer so that they freeze individually. Leave them in the freezer for approximately 1 hour.

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