All right children, it’s time to gather around and get comfortable it’s time to hear a story.
Being a chef, you can imagine that I have my fair share of kitchen appliances. Having lived in many different places, with different sizes and storage space I have always leaned towards the side of efficiency. That said, when registering for our wedding I looked at “dual function” pieces. And one of them was a pressure cooker that also functioned as a slow cooker. This was one of my favorite appliances because it was the master of many, and I could leave it alone on the counter without worrying about anything ever spilling over.
But as time passed, and the cooking ramped up even more, I realized that I could probably get away with having multiple top of the counter appliances. For the past couple of years, I have been wanting a classic crock pot, so I could simmer a massive pot of beans, all day long, stirring and adding ingredients as frequently as I wished. Without having to unlock the pressure seal on my other machine.
This last Christmas my sister, Jessica, got me my old school crock pot. Now we live in Seattle, and my sister, in California. So, while I was excited to receive this gift I was less than thrilled about finding a way to get it back to our house. To be honest, I legitimately forgot about it, and it ended up staying in my sister’s guestroom.
We had countless phone call arguments about how it should have been delivered in the first place, or that it was my fault for not having room in my suitcase to take it home (it’s a full-size crock pot people, let’s get real). My husband made a trip to LA and we once again didn’t plan properly to lug this thing back to our house.
Which brings us to April, I get a call from Jessica, frustrated at the world, telling me that I better use this crock-pot every damn day for the rest of my life, because she finally gave in and sent it up here, through the postal service, paying 3 times more to ship it than it actually cost her from Amazon(which probably got shipped from Seattle, where the headquarters are 😉
It finally arrived on my doorstep and I can honestly say that I have never been more excited to make beans. Not only because beans are one of my favorite foods on the planet, but also because I get reminded of how grateful I am to have a sister who will send ridiculously large packages to me, just to get it out of her sight (no matter how threatening, of shameful, or guilt heavy our conversations were.
Let’s just say after this experience, we have made a deal to never buy anything for the other person that they cannot easily fit in their suitcase.
Christmas in April.
In honor of her gallant efforts, I name these beans after, Jessica, the great.
Jessica's Crock Pot Black Beans
These slow cooked, tender, smoky, and flavorful beans are perfect for anything that requires delicious black beans. Eat them by themselves, in burritos, tacos, soups, or mash into a savory dip!
- 4 c. dry black beans picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight, and rinsed again
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large celery stick
- 1/4 large yellow onion diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch cilantro stems (stems only, save leaves for garnish)
- 1 jalepeno roasted
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp crushed chipotle
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- water to just cover the beans
- 1 tsp smoked salt (optional)
Roast your jalapeno. Set your broiler to high and place the jalapeno on a sheet pan right under the broiler. Keeping a close eye on the pepper, rotate the pepper until all sides are charred and remove from the oven. Run under cold water to remove the outer charred skin and top.
Place all ingredients except for the salt in you crock pot/slow cooker, cover with water to just cover the beans(maybe 1/2 an inch above). Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove the large vegetable pieces (carrot celery, bay leaf, and jalapeno if it's still there!)
Add in the smoked salt(optional) or regular salt to taste. Serve immediately or allow the beans to cool before storing them into containers. They should keep in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
* If you want less spicy beans omit the jalapeno and chipotle.