Domestic Goddess Tip: Sort Your Beans, PLEASE!

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I love making beans from scratch. That means using dried beans.

I’m sure, like you, I’ve always read the label ‘wash and sort out pebbles or debris’ and never really found any ‘pebbles’ nor ‘debris’. So, after many years of making beans, I confess to getting a little lazy with my process.

I like to cull out the broken beans in advance, so I sort them dry, then give a quick rinse to flush any lingering dirt or dust. I admit, many times it is a ‘cursory’ sort, where I run them through my fingers, picking out the broken beans, never really expecting anything else.
This time, however, proves that advice on the package to be Golden!

In the photo above is one nasty little pebble, that could be easily mistaken for a bean, and I was fortunate to have been taking extra care, and spotted it.
As this batch 0’beans was for a party I was throwing, I shudder envisioning one of my guests tucking into a yummy bowl of black beans, only to wind up at the dentist for an emergency cracked tooth! Now that would be embarrassing and a real party spoiler.

So, take my advice: ¬†¬†Save a tooth and sort your beans…..CAREFULLY.


Southwestern Black Bean and Corn “Salad”

Grab your cowboy boots and hat, and sidle up to this nummy salad! Trust me, you’ll be looking for a steel guitar and pining for the smell of horses and leather to accompany this scrumptious and versatile salad.

I put ‘salad’ in quotation marks because leftovers are absolutely delicious over the top of grilled french bread -‘Hello Paris!’ , as a ‘Bruschetta’ topping – or is it ‘Ciao Italy’?, or as a chunky dip with sturdy tortilla chips -‘Hola Mexico!’. I’ve served this in organic romaine lettuce or butter lettuce leaves, which is like a vegetarian version of a the Asian lettuce wrap, and it would be a nice punch of flavor in a breakfast tortilla wrap with scrambled eggs. It is so versatile for leftovers, but so delicious, you may not have any ‘left over’!!!

(As always, my recipes are fluid and something you adjust to taste. I will give approximate amounts, but adjust to your own taste. You can double this recipe, but it will make a generous amount for a large group!)

((Try to let the salad rest at least an hour to absorb all the great flavors from the dressing.))

Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Salad

1 can (approx 2 cup if you make your own) Black Beans, rinsed.

2 cups corn. I used leftover corn cut from the cob, from a previous nights dinner, but you can use defrosted frozen.

Cilantro: A nice big handful, chopped. We love cilantro, so add a bit more, and I will add some fresh to leftovers.

Avocado: I slice this over the top of the salad. You can rough chop it and toss in to what you are going to eat, but it gets mushy if kept too long. Better to add it fresh to the portion you are eating.

Dressing: (For 1 cup of dressing which is more than enough to dress the salad.)

1/3 Grapeseed Oil (you can use corn, I don’t because of the GMO’s)
1/3 cup Lime Juice
Approx 2-3 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 tsp Cumin
1-2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder (you can use reg chili powder, I prefer the pure chili, but if you don’t have on hand, use high quality chili powder)
1 clove Garlic, minced or put through a press
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 cup diced Red Onion
pinch of Sugar
1/2 tsp dijon or stone ground Mustard
salt and pepper
Optional: Smoked Paprika or Chipotle Chili Powder

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and adjust spices to taste. (It might need more sugar, more cumin, more garlic, ect)

Toss the beans, corn and cilantro with the dressing.

Top with fresh ripened avocados.

While I seem to have covered the globe in serving options, I will personally start with what is closest to my heart. Cowboy country flavored good eats!! Yee Haw!