Adventures in cooking beans in Instant Pot

Factors that have led me to cook beans recently:
1. I purchased an Instant Pot.
2. Instant Pot led me to purchase dried beans at my food coop.
3. Frugality. Reading about it; not actually practicing yet! But it led me to a stockpile of dried beans.

Two successes of late:
Cranberry aka Borlotti beans are the bomb.
Oh the gigante were creamy, smooth, delicious.
Today’s black beans were off the charts. I thought I liked canned black beans well enough, but MAN, these are scrumptious! Delicious, not just as a mix-in for the greater sum.

Note it takes longer than cooking time — It takes 9-14 mins to come to pressure, then there’s the cooking time PLUS to release pressure, either by itself, for 10-15 minutes, or by human power, turning the steam release valve.

Here’s how I prepared today’s rice and beans with black beans:

Prepare brown rice in rice cooker. Medium grain is nice. 1 c rice, rinsed well to 2 1/2 c water, and salt.

Rinse 1 # beans. Measure out 5 c water.

Ingredients:
onion, 1 large, diced
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
cumin, 1 t
salt, 1 T

Directions:
Rinse beans
Cut up onion. Heat up Instant Pot on sauté function, add 2 T olive oil, and then onions. Sauté for 20 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.
Mix in garlic and cumin. Stir and cook for less than one minute until fragrant.
Add: beans, salt, water, and stir.
Pressure cook for 45-50 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then release manually. If beans are not cooked through, cook for another 5 minutes, and then manually release pressure.

Serve:
Steamed spinach, sprinkled with za’atar
Rice
Beans
Hot sauce
Dab of sour cream
Pepitas

Other ways to do it: skip za’atar; add 1 t chili powder to beans with cumin; top with cilantro and scallions and Monterey Jack cheese.)
Another option: Purée 1 tomato, cilantro, scallion whites and 1 garlic clove with 3 T olive oil and salt. Mix tomato mixture into beans when cooked and let sit for 5 minutes.

Inspiration: Melissa Clark, Dinner in an Instant, Black Beans, p. 109

Bean cooking times and proportions:

Gigante
1 # beans to 7 c water with aromatics, 32 minutes +

 

Cannellini

1# beans, rinsed and drained. Put into pot.

with 1 T kosher salt & 4 smashed garlic cloves & pinch baking soda

fill with water up to 1/2 way mark. Do not overfill!

50 mins  (worked fine 9/19)

Black turtle beans
1 # beans to 5 c water, with sautéed onion, then 3 garlic cloves, minced and 1 t cumin, 50 mins. (or less)

Cranberry beans
1 # beans to 7 c water, with 3+ garlic cloves, smashed, 4 T olive oil, pinch of red pepper flakes, and some fresh sage leaves if ya got ’em, 24 – 27(?) minutes. (14 mins to come to pressure.)

Garbanzo
1 #, covered with water to halfway mark. Add 1+ T salt

Cook for 42 minutes. Let pressure release naturally (for all beans) for 10-15 minutes, then release pressure manually

***********************

Here are some guidelines

And more on timing beans in Instant Pot

And here is a collection of Instant Pot cooking info:

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Miso Mushroom Pasta

What’s great about cooking a lot is that we lazy-ish home cooks can find recipes that are easy-peasy yet delicious. Contra the two-dozen steps over three days recipes that turn out bleh. That’s why I write this blog — to record the recipes, adaptations and techniques I have used with success and would like to repeat.

When there is little in one’s pantry and no desire to shop, it’s very welcome to have a recipe like this one. The only fresh ingredients one needs are mushrooms and heavy cream. Fancy are good; cremini in a pinch will do. Browning the mushrooms I read increases the unami flavor. It’s like a Japanese fettuccine Alfredo — all comfort and deliciousness and okay, indulgence. Perfect for a cold winter eve. Stay home. Cook this. Relax.

Ingredients:

Dried pasta, 4 oz Bucatini is good
mushrooms, 3 oz — cremini, oyster, shiitake, any other exotic/Japanese type especially
Sherry vinegar, 1 t
Miso paste, 2 t White or red
Butter, 2 T, cut up to soften to room temp
Garlic cloves, 3, minced
Heavy cream, 1/2 c
Optional: scallion, finely sliced

Directions:
Take out butter to come to room temp; cut up to hasten process if needed.
Put up pot of water for pasta.
Cut mushrooms into large bite-sized chunks.
Heat large sauté pan over high heat, add 1 T canola oil, and sauté mushrooms until well browned, about 4-5 minutes, adding S&P. Add sherry vinegar to pan, toss and set aside.
Cook pasta until 1 minute underdone. Drain and set aside.
Whisk together butter and miso.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1 T oil and minced garlic and cook for less than one minute until fragrant. Add mushrooms, then add miso-butter mixture, then cream, and bring to a boil, stirring.
Add drained pasta to sauce, and stir. Add salt, and cook and stir until pasta is desired doneness.
Place into bowls, top with sliced scallion and pepper.

Source: Miso-Mushroom Pasta, by Yi Jun Loh, Food 52

Coconut Thai-inspired chicken breasts

When you want to change up the preparation of boneless chicken breasts, try this simple marinade and technique. It’s akin to the classic Thai soy-fish sauce-chili-ginger flavor notes, with coconut milk added to mellow the whole thing and no lime for acid. It can be made in less time than it takes to cook rice, if you have not thought ahead to marinate the chicken. The chicken ideally would like 2 to 4 hours of marinade time, but if you’re pressed, less than one hour still works.

Put up a pot of coconut rice in your rice cooker. Easy: 1 c brown jasmine rice, rinsed and salt added to pot. Pour 1 can of coconut milk into 2 c measuring cup, add water to bring to 2-1/4 c (!), and cook in the regular way. (I used the cream on top of the can, and next time I think it would be better to spoon that off and perhaps save for sautéing, rather than use for the rice.)

Make a marinade for chicken breasts:

1 c coconut milk — heat to simmer in small pot. Add:

1 hot pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Ginger, grated, ~ 1 T or less (Will need same amount later for cooking chicken)
2/3 T fish sauce
1 T soy sauce
Star anise or smallish piece of cinnamon stick
Brown sugar, 1 T
1 T chili garlic sauce

Stir together, transfer to flat bottom bowl, and then let sit together and then cool to room temp.
Cut 1/2 # chicken into strips, and then large bite-size pieces.
Add to marinade. Refrigerate if going to be more than one hour until cooked. Ideally marinate 2-4 hours.

Heat sauté pan over medium high heat and add 1 T canola or coconut oil. Scoop chicken out of marinade and add to pan. Sauté for about 4 mins, turning. Right before removing, add reserved minced garlic, toss a bit for one minute, and then remove onto plate or atop rice on plate.

Nice served with plain steamed fresh local broccoli.
Otherwise add peas to rice, perhaps.
Or roast a sweet potato, in wedges. Or carrots, roasted or boiled/stove-top braised.

Source: Jonathan Rosenberg’s Coconut-Marinated Chicken over Coconut Rice, p. 359 in One Big Table; a portrait of American Cooking by Molly O’Neill