White kidney bean stew

by | Feb 9, 2016 | Vegetable dishes

In the Hungarian cuisine dry pinto beans are commonly used, mainly for soup and sólet. However, dry bean stew is made with white kidney beans. This dish is so thick and nutritious that one plate of dry bean stew provides your daily energy needs; it makes you feel full for long and keeps food cravings at bay.

Beans are one of the mankind’s oldest foods. This vegetable, rich in fiber and protein, has been one of the most important energy source, especially in the winter season, for thousands of years. Currently, the world genebanks hold about 40,000 bean varieties, although only a fraction are mass-produced for regular consumption.

White kidney beans, just like other legumes, contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. They are heart-healthy as they are rich in vitamin B9, which reduces the levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the bloodstream – homocysteine increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Thiamin (vitamin B1) content of white kidney beans is necessary for formation and operation of brain cells, and ensures that your memory functions properly.

Cooking dry beans takes time. It can take from an hour to three hours (or longer) for them to become tender. The age, variety and size of your beans all affect the cooking time. Therefore pre-soaking can’t be omitted from the preparation process.

Pre-soaking trims down the cooking time a bit, but even more importantly, it helps the beans cook more evenly and become completely tender all the way through. Another benefit of pre-soaking is that it decreases the amount of indigestible carbohydrates can be found in beans, so flatulance caused by beans can be reduced, as well. Besides pre-soaking simmering is the other factor that helps, too, beans gently cook evenly, and keep their skins intact.

White kidney bean stew
White kidney bean stew – photo: zserbo.com
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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