I hated beans growing up!
I must have really stressed my mom out because as a kid i ate just about anything, then i woke up one day and didn't like a bunch of stuff, especially beans.
I hated beans with a special hate, so much so that as an adult, when my mom came visiting she was shocked to see beans in my house. I would eat moimoi and akara (both made with beans, the former steamed kind of like a tamale and the latter fried like a fritter), but hated beans, same way i love guacamole for the longest but hated avocado.
But fear not, for...
I still cook it the way my mom does but i discovered the beauty of adding coconut milk and i sneak in some bacon from time to time, and all i can say is "joy!"
You can use honey beans, brown beans or black eyed peas. I like to soak my beans overnight, and even though i cook my beans in a pressure pot, it helps reduce the cook time.
Pre-soaking your beans also allegedly gets rid of the indigestible sugars in the beans, this is not yet proven as everyone's stomach is different. Rumor has it that it also reduces the beans farts. Lol.
Before the pre-soaking for those who will be doing that step, carefully pick out any debris out of your beans. Watch out for little stones too, and bits of the beans pod. Throw out any beans that have been eaten up by weevils.
Hmmm... This might be why i started hating beans. If i started hating beans in order to get out of the beans picking stage of beans cooking since i wasn't going to eat the beans, it sure as hell didn't work!
Here's what i used;
4 cups Beans
1lb Dried Fish
400ml Coconut Milk
1 Cup Palm Oil
3/4 Cup Crayfish
1 Large Onion
3 Seasoning Cubes
Salt & Pepper
Ripe Plantain (Optional)
Whether you had pre-soaked your beans or not, you will need to wash and rinse it off a couple of times until your water runs clear. You do not have to rub on the skin or get the skin off, just swirl it around in a lot of water and run through a colander. Another reason to pick your beans and get any stones out- if there are any stones, because they are heavy, they'll sit with the beans when you pour it through the colander and will be a nasty surprise to bite into.
Transfer to a large enough pot, bearing in mind that beans will expand to at least 3x its original size when cooked, add washed dried fish, crayfish, pepper, half of your onion (diced), and pour water to about 2 inches over the level of your beans.
Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Regular pot medium to high heat cook for about 35 minutes.
At this time your beans should be half way cooked but still have a bite to it and most of the water absorbed. If it is still really hard, you can add a cup of water and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
I lost a pic of the beans before I started cooking, this post will be updated with an additional photo next time i cook beans.
I made this pot of beans just after Thanksgiving so what you see in the large pot is the neck of my turkey and in the pan with the onions, you'll see some of the chopped giblets. Please remember that all of this is optional, you can add whatever meat you're comfortable with; chicken, ham hocks , all of those will work. If you have followed me for a while you know that i love to pull flavor out of anything possible, nothing goes to waste.
If you used any meat that was on the bone, or your dried fish was in a large chunk, it should be tender enough now to tear it all off the bone and discard bones.
In a separate pan lightly fry onions, bacon and any other meats you may want to add to the beans until onions is tender and bacon has rendered.
Transfer oil to the pot with the beans then add coconut milk. Turn heat to low to medium.
Notice that i did not add any additional water before adding the oil or coconut milk, you can always add a little at a time but cannot remove.
Add salt and seasoning cubes, then stir properly. Allow beans to cook for another 20 minutes or until tender.
Even if you were using a pressure pot initially, you do not have to seal it from here on.
In the last 5-7 minutes of cook time, add diced ripe plantains. Mix to distribute plantain evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
There you have a savory creamy sweet pot of beans. :)
Just add fried plantain.