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Jan 26, 2013 11:00 PM

Beans ?

I figured I should try to eat beans because there are a lot of good things said about them, thrift, flavor, etc

so I bought some cans and a few bags of dry beans

I opened one of the cans of black beans and the smell (sorry for the graphic) made me wretch

anyway, is there any way to make them palatable or are beans an acquired taste if you haven't eaten them for most of your life?

I like the texture but hate the smell - what a drag

guess this is a vent (no pun intended!)

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  1. For the black beans you opened and found the smell disgusting, pour the beans into a colander and rinse well, then put them in a saucepan and soak for a few hours with a bit of salt. They should "freshen up" a bit and be palatable. If not, put in a little butter and a bit of some favorite spices and heat them up. Try that...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler

      I agree. Rinse them off well and I would put them in the fridge for a bit to chill. There should no more heavy order coming from them. Try chick peas (garbonzos) they are wonderful in salads or make a nice garlicy hummus. Try a can of both kidney and black beans along with green beans in a salad. Mix all of the beans with onion ,red pepper with some Italian dressing some extra vinegar and sugar. My kids love it.

    2. I always rinse out all of the liquid in canned black beans. Then, they are most often used with other ingredients.

      I happen to like black beans, but if you are not used to eating beans perhaps you should stick to the milder varieties to start.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GH1618

        Agree with the above. Black beans have a very distinctive smell and taste.

        If I were to go back in time and try beans for the first time, I would probably choose something "familiar" to my eating habits and style. Something such as using adzuki beans in an Asian inspired dish, or adding cannellini to an Italian soup. I would only start with black beans if I was already interested in and making Cuban dishes.

      2. where did u buy them?

        dried beans are better than canned.
        they are not difficult to prepare and taste 100% better.

        I enjoy making split pea soup, Kidney bean salad, chickpea salad, falafel, etc.

        There r 2 good bean cookbooks

        Bean by Bean by Crescent Wagon
        Heirloom Beans by Gordo Rancho-Steve Sando

        Also checkout other links on chowhound

        5 Replies
        1. re: jpr54_1

          "dried beans are better than canned.
          they are not difficult to prepare and taste 100% better."

          Cooking dry beans is not trivial, else there wouldn't be threads like the recent one asking 'why didn't my beans soften'.

          The '100% better' claim is hard to substantiate. Taste is hard to quantify. If I were to compare rinsed canned beans with some that I cooked with just salted water, I don't think I could say one was better than the other. The only obvious difference would be in texture, and that would depend on how long I cooked my beans.

          1. re: paulj

            I can control the sodium content when I cook my beans from scratch, and that's something that's important to me. It's also cheaper that using canned beans, especially when you figure that most cans of beans contain at least 1/4 "bean sludge".

            Does it take time? Yes, and a little planning, but I can do beans in a pressure cooker pretty fast -- or at least faster than hours of cooking time. Are they hard to cook? No. Can you screw them up? Yeah, I guess you can, but it's worth trying to figure out how to do.

            All that being said (beaning said?), I still keep a few cans in my pantry in addition to bags of dried beans.

            1. re: paulj

              Totally disagree with this - cooking beans from scratch is a no brainer - you need to presoak and then flavor them with some meats, herbs, etc. depending on what kind of beans you want, vegie or non vegie, and what type of dish you are making. Cook in a dutch oven on the stove top or in the crock pot - your choice.

                1. re: Jeanne

                  you are simply wrong jeanne. dismissive of anyone else's experience. ive screwed up beans several times, its not hard to do.

            2. Red (kidney) beans & rice

              Soak a pound of dried beans overnight, but if you cannot do that just add an hour or two of cooking time.

              Saute a cup or two of diced onion, a cup diced celery, three cloves minced garlic and a cup diced bell pepper in a few tbsp bacon grease (or other oil) until soft. Add beans, 1 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp sugar, one bay leaf, cayenne pepper, salt and a pinch of habanero or sprinkle of hot sauce to taste. Add one 16oz beer, an amber works best. Add half pound of ham chunks (or tasso or any similar pork product) and enough water to cover. Simmer at least three hours covered. Taste for seasoning at this point and add salt or cayenne. Careful because the heat intensifies the longer you cook it. Beans should be getting tender at this point. Add smoked sausage, a pound or less. Simmer another hour covered. If beans are not soft enough cook a bit longer. Add water as needed but you want it to be thick, not soupy. If it's soupy cook for a while uncovered and beans will thicken upon standing. Serve over rice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrsfury

                Something I like to do when I'm cooking red beans (or any beans) is to use a wooden spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. This will thicken the broth.

              2. First, in my experience/opinion, the canned beans smell much worse than home-cooked, so there's that to keep in mind for the future. Second and more importantly, they don't taste like they smell, so even if you want to use up the cans you've already bought, rinse 'em off well, and give them a try.