Monday, 17 November 2008

Bargain beans

I anticipated a bit of a hiatus in blog postings after the move so had stashed away a couple of items I thought would get me by until I re-focussed on culinary matters (though we did manage to cook some pretty decent lamb chops - reduced in Somerfield - and roast parsnips last night in the dreaded AGA)

Anyway the first was about bin-ends. The other day I bought 13p's worth of red kidney beans in our local health food shop out of curiosity to see how much I would get when they were cooked up. And the answer was at least as much as you get in a 400g tin which are currently selling for about 50-60p if you buy them singly.

True, you have to soak them overnight (not time-consuming, just a matter of remembering) and cook them for about an hour - unless you have a pressure cooker and you know what my feelings are about those - but they do also taste a great deal better than canned beans.

I made a batch of Mexican-style refried beans, the recipe for which you can find, appropriately enough on my student website Beyond Baked Beans, but you could obviously also use them for a chilli or a salad. Or both, even


Greenlady said...

Aww... don't dread your Aga, embrace it ;) ( ok, not LITERALLY ...ouch ! ) You will get used to it :)

Hmm. I'm with you about pressure cookers * shudder*, and I did many moons ago used to cook dried beans from scratch... but I have long sacrificed that for the convenience of tinned beans. I will have to try a taste vs convenience test again I think, as as far as I remember unless they were cooked with various forms of flavouring I couldn't tell the difference taste wise ( texture wise, yes ).

The cheapest tinned kidney beans you can get are Tesco's value at 11pa 400g can 2.8 per 100g. No idea what they taste like tho ( i boycotted them years ago). And oddly enough their organic tinned kidney beans are cheaper than their " normal " own brand ones.

Fiona Beckett said...

Actually I've already managed to burn myself on it so maybe embracing it not such a good idea

You're right about beans. Once they're incorporated in a dish like chilli it's hard to tell the difference but you do get a lovely mealy texture in beans that have been cooked from scratch

11p a tin is certainly mega-cheap though sometimes these cheaper brands have a lot of liquid in them and rather fewer beans or pulses