Yesterday morning I woke up and decided that I was going to make something with black beans that day. I didn’t know what yet, but I wanted to try these dried beans I’d gotten from Phipps County Store when we went berry picking the other day. I knew that I’d need to soak these dried beans for 6-8 hours, so I had to get them started before figuring out what I’d end up making with them. This is pretty much how I cook anyway. I rarely have a long-term plan when it comes to food, which actually works out for me- most of the time. Sometimes this results in my stressing out over the amount of fresh food that needs to be eaten before it goes bad. But a lot of the time it gets the creative cooking juices flowing. It’s kind of like when Tom Colicchio from Top Chef tells the contestants, “Make something delicious with these three ingredients.” I like the challenge.
So I measured out 1 cup of dried black beans, picked out the shriveled beans and small pebbles that found their way in there, and put them in a bowl with a lot of water. Then I let them sit for 7 hours while I went about my day. When I was ready to cook them, I poured out the water, dumped the beans into a pot, added new water and some oregano and let them cook on medium-low heat for about an hour. At the end, I added salt to taste, cooked them a little bit longer, and drained out the water. By this time, my friend Jennifer was over and we decided that we were going to make black bean nachos. We used a porcelain baking dish, put in the bottom layer of nachos, black beans, shredded cheddar and repeated this two more times. Then we baked the nachos in the oven at 325 degrees for 5 minutes. In the meantime, Jennifer whipped up her tasty guacamole with 2 avocados, some garlic, lime and salt. I can’t really gauge the amounts of those ingredients because it all depends on your taste, and how much you like garlic. When the nachos came out, we topped them with guacamole, and some fresh salsa we had in the fridge, and voila! Easy and tasty.