I soaked the beans overnight. The next day, I drained them and cooked them in fresh water in a Dutch oven. The water was brought to a boil and allowed to boil for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I skimmed the foam from the top. After 15 minutes, the lid was placed on the pot, and the pot went into the Wonderbag. You do need to place a trivet or a folded towel in the bottom of the Wonderbag so the pot doesn’t burn the fabric. There’s an insulated lid that fits over the pot, and the drawstring pulls the edges of the bag up and around the fabric-covered lid. I left the beans to slow-cook for about four hours. When I opened the bag, the pot was still very warm and I had beans that had cooked through completely without a stove or any energy source. I love stocking my freezer with two-cup portions of cooked black beans to use for tacos or to serve with quinoa. And, I used some of the black beans to make refritos. I always follow the recipe from Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico for refried beans. The cooked beans are pureed in a food processor and then stirred into minced onion that’s been cooking in olive oil. I used some of the refritos for Super Bowl nachos, and the rest were layered onto crispy tostadas. To make tostadas, I fry corn tortillas in a little canola oil and drain them on paper towels. And, then the toppings can go in all kinds of directions. The version shown here included refried black beans, sauteed red kale, and shredded Monterrey jack cheese. After those three toppings were in place, I broiled the tostadas to melt the cheese. Then, sliced fresh jalapeno, chopped lettuce, sour cream, salsa, avocado, and pickled jalapeno were added. For a different take, a fried egg would not be out of place at all positioned somewhere between the melted cheese and the avocado. In that version, I skip the lettuce and sour cream.
I definitely have a new way of cooking beans, and I look forward to trying other things in the Wonderbag too. Another recipe in the booklet is for homemade yogurt. I need a small enough pot with short handles to make that work, but I can’t wait to do it. I was thrilled with my experience cooking with it, and that pales in comparison to what it offers for families who cook with wood fires.
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