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Overcooked beans

I recently decided to try to switch from canned beans to dried beans. I soaked a pound of cannelloni beans overnight in cold water and then cooked them in the crock pot during the day. I must have had them in there on slow for about 10 hours. Too long, I know. But they really fell apart. My first question is: can I save these beans for anything or do I have to just toss them? Second, are beans very unforgiving when you cook them? Do you have to pay close attention as you would with pasta? Thank you.

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      1. Dips & spreads. Consider that hummus is just one variety of bean dip. Many directions you can go.

        1. Soup is a great idea.

          I use cannelini beans in a sort of hummus-ish spread. Garlic, lemon, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper go in with the beans in the food processor, and then a bit of olive oil. It's FAB on crusty bread or as a dip for crudites.

          If it's convenient to put them in the crockpot for ten hours, give some thought to not soaking them and just doubling up on the water. Well-soaked, though, they really only need an hour or a bit more on the stove unless they're REALLY old and dry. You might try soaking them during the day while you're at work or whatever and then cooking them when you get home. Good luck!

          1. I did the same thing with red beans not too long ago, and got some great responses from the Hounders. Do a search for "overcooked beans" and you'll find my original post. I found that they came out really great in enchilladas, and burritos would work as well.

            1. In my house, we'd heat up some oil with a little bacon fat, saute some minced onion and garlic in it, then add the beans and mash with a potato masher. Delicious refried beans. Yeah, they're the wrong type of bean, but they will still taste good.

              In Texas, they do a pinto bean pie (sweet) that is really fantastic. If you didn't use too many savory seasonings in your beans, I'll bet you could even make that. You could also puree them, freeze them in small batches and use them to thicken or add protein to soups.

              I've also made a hummus like the one LauraGrace describes above, and it is excellent.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Isolda

                You are the first person I've ever heard outside my family and friends who knows about a pinto bean pie. I found the recipe over 20 years ago in a cookbook of local recipes published by the newspaper here. I had to try it for my son and his friends, who were at the age when farting was a lot of fun. It truly makes a beautiful pie but it was Godawful. No one could eat it. It was just like a bunch of sugar dumped in beans.This has been an ongoing joke of the worst possible thing to try to eat with us. We thought someone had made the recipe up to see if they could get it printed.I am amazed.

              2. My favorite thing to do with white beans of all time is a mash, which I bet would be fine with overcooked beans if they're already falling apart anyway.

                MASHED WHITE BEANS
                I usually start by sauteing lots of minced garlic in olive oil in a small saucepan until just tender, then adding minced fresh herbs (whatever is on hand, my favorite is either rosemary or sage in the winter, and lemon thyme in the summer), a pinch of red pepper flakes, and S&P. Cook together for just a few seconds before adding the beans. I stir a few times to start heating up the beans, then get to mashing. I like mine pretty smooth, so I usually use my immersion blender. When I serve I usually sprinkle some more fresh herbs on top and a drizzle of good olive oil and put it alongside just about anything, but my favorite of all time is sauteed greens (broccoli raab is my fav because the sharpness really helps cut through the richness of the beans) and a nice link of Italian sausage. Might be my favorite dinner of all time.

                2 Replies
                1. re: GardenFresh

                  I second the rec for mashed white beans. But I would mix in the sauteed greens, thin out with a little veg. broth, and serve on pasta. It's definitely one of my favorite meals. I do it with canned organic white beans all the time - I just mash them up with the sauteed garlic.

                  1. re: cathyeats

                    Thanks everyone!!! I definitely won't be tossing them. So many great ideas I'm looking forward to trying.

                2. I find that cooking dried beans is always a bit of a crapshoot. You do have to watch them and you do have to allow for an hour or more extra cooking time that might be necessary. I also find that a pressure cooker tends to make it more of a crapshoot due to the rapid cooking time and closed conditions.

                  Even if you intend to puree the beans, you still shouldn't let them get too mushy because all the absorbed water can make the puree thin and insipid.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sushigirlie

                    I'll speak up for the slow cooker here. If you cook on low, the time between 'doneness checks' is longer than stovetop. Check every half hour or 15 minutes when cooking on high. I only cook dried chickpeas in the pressure cooker since the target is usually hummus.