kidney beans

kung pao kidney beans

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When I want to go semi vegetarian, then my go to meal is usually beans and greens. Of course, beans have lots of nutrition and offer protein. So, they’re a good substitute for meat. Now, I love my meat and seafood, but sometimes, I just want beans and greens. Or beans and vegetables as my meal.

Cooking beans is not difficult at all. This recipe can certainly be done in a slow cooker if you like. Simple add all the ingredients and probably about 4-6 cups of water or stock (beef, vegetable or chicken), set it on high for about 4 hours and you’ll probably have a great pot of beans. But I can’t promise this because I created this recipe on the stove top.

There’s something about stove top cooking that gives me great comfort and satisfaction. And, if you have the time, then you might want to try cooking beans on your stove top. Another thing about these beans and cooking them. You have to keep an eye on them. You just can’t turn the blaze on, bring them to a boil and walk away and forget them for a while. If you do, you just might start sniffing the scent of beans burning! Hey, I’ve done that many times in my life. So, your forewarning is here!

The beans go through several layers of seasoning. First, it beings with the pancetta. If you don’t want to use pancetta, substitute several slices of bacon or a ham hock or ham or beef shank. This is essential to the first seasoning of beans. Then you’ll add more flavors with the fire roasted tomatoes and chiles and the Kung Pao chicken seasoning mix. This seasoning mixture will help thicken your broth, too. And, if you want it more ‘brothy’ rather than more ‘gravy’ like, then simply add more water or stock.

Hope you enjoy and if you’re in the mood for a chicken piccata soup, well I’ve got the best one out there. Click here!

kidney beans

kung pao kidney beans

Yield: About 4+ servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. red kidney beans, rinsed and washed
  • 4 oz. pancetta, thick cut slice(s)
  • 1 can (10 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (1 oz.) packaged Kung Pao Chicken Seasoning Mix
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Put the beans in a large stock pot. Add eight cups of water.
  • Bring to roaring boil on high. Reduce heat to medium high and continue to cook, boiling, for about 30 minutes adding water as needed.
  • Keep beans covered with water (about two inches).
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add more water if needed. Cover and cook another 30 minutes. Check to see if water is needed. Remove the pancetta and discard.
  • Add the tomatoes and blend. Add the seasoning mixture and blend. Add water if needed.
  • Cover and cook another about 30 minutes or until beans are tender.
  • As the beans sit and rest the broth should thicken. Add water if you want to thin.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • When done, turn off heat and let beans rest. Refrigerate or serve.

Notes

The most important thing about cooking beans is to make sure they do not burn. And, that means having adequate water.

Beans should always have ample water usually about two to three inches above the beans while cooking.

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kidney beans

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