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Old 04-29-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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Great northern beans in crockpot

I know I've posted and requested white bean recipes in the past but I'm looking for something different. Just starting cooking the beans with onions, garlic, bacon, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup and some spices (chili powder and habanero powder) and of course, salt and pepper. The recipe asks for celery and sweet relish which I know my family won't care for. What other ingredients would you suggest I add? I'd like them to go well with bbq baby back ribs. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can provide.

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Old 04-29-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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that looks good to me

I always add a bay leaf or two to beans. Really your ingredients look great, but how about nutmeg or cinnamon or fresh parsley, red wine vinegar at the end of cooking?
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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I think what you have posted, sounds so good, I would stop right there !!!
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #4
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Great! I'll add a dash of red wine vinegar too. The kitchen smells amazing. I checked the beans and the flavor is wonderful. I'm getting the ribs ready and throw in a salad for dinner. Thanks Beth and Barb!
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #5
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I like to use rice vinegar as it is mild. I have also added sliced, smoked Cajun sausage with the bacon. Oh and Tabasco sauce.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:08 PM   #6
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I would hold off on the Salt until the end of the cooking. I've learned salt stops beans from cooking completely.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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I would hold off on the Salt until the end of the cooking. I've learned salt stops beans from cooking completely.

That's actually not true. Acid inhibits beans from softening, but not salt.

IMO you should always add some salt to the cooking liquid lest you end up with really bland beans.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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I'm careful about adding much salt when cooking. You can always add more, but you can't take it out.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:22 PM   #9
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I'm careful about adding much salt when cooking. You can always add more, but you can't take it out.
I'm not advocating adding tons of salt, but properly seasoning your food with salt during cooking, as opposed to after something is cookied, is extremely important to flavor development. You make a good point that you can always add more, which is why you should taste your food frequently as you cook it.

Beans cooked with little or no salt will be bland and won't improve much even if salt is added after they cook.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:51 PM   #10
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actually for beans..
Ham or bacon, salt, that's about it.

When its done, serve over corn bread with onions, relish, ketchup on the side.

Now if you are going for a baked bean flavor, then you have the molasses, ketchup etc....

but then again, for baked beans..... I like them baked so they candy up real nice.....
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I would hold off on the Salt until the end of the cooking. I've learned salt stops beans from cooking completely.
I usually hold off on it till the very end. A tip I learned from my mom.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:06 PM   #12
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That's actually not true. Acid inhibits beans from softening, but not salt.
Hmmm, my authority at Dummies.com says "Never add salt to the soaking or cooking water when initially preparing beans. Salt prevents the skin from softening, making for a tough, not-too-tender bean. Always season the beans after they're done cooking. Like little sponges, they'll absorb the salt quite quickly and be flavorful."

I always add acid in the form of vinegar to inhibit the creation of the gaseous side effect.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:14 PM   #13
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In my experience, salt is a matter of the individual pallet. One can always adjust for flavor during the cooking process, whether it be salt or other flavor adventures.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerd View Post
Hmmm, my authority at Dummies.com says "Never add salt to the soaking or cooking water when initially preparing beans. Salt prevents the skin from softening, making for a tough, not-too-tender bean. Always season the beans after they're done cooking. Like little sponges, they'll absorb the salt quite quickly and be flavorful."

I always add acid in the form of vinegar to inhibit the creation of the gaseous side effect.

Your information from "dummies" has been contradicted by reputable food scientists like Shirley Corriher, Alton Brown, Harold McGee and the likes of the folks at Cooks Illustrated. Also by my own personal experience over many more years that I'd like to admit.

Salt doesn't inhibit softening. Acids, sugar and calcium do. Also old beans may refuse to soften no matter what.

Salting cooked beans doesn't help them much. Like Alton Brown said "if you wait until (the beans are) finished to add the salt they're going to taste like papier-mâché."

Oligosaccharides, the sugar that causes gas, are water soluable and not counteracted by acids. They have been thought to be counteracted by mold, so maybe there's some marginal effect from a fermented product like vinegar, but you're probably offsetting some small improvement in flatulence by risking a crunchy end product.

For what America's top food scientist has to say, here's the actual text of "On Food and Cooking"where McGee explains cooking beans.

Alton on beans

Discussion about cooking beans here
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:43 PM   #15
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Another good reference is THE COMPLETE BEAN COOKBOOK, by Victor Bennett, published in 1967 by Bonanza Books in NY.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:54 PM   #16
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soak beans overnight. then put in crockpot with ham hocks, celery and onions. let em rip. taste wonderful with corn bread.


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