For the most part, I'm glad I've started on the Project June mission. I've been meaning to eat up my pantry for a long time, but you know how it goes. There's so many things that are good to eat, and often so appealing, that are not made of ingredients that you already have. That just seems to be how it rolls, you know? So it seemed like tackling the dried garbanzo beans would be a good way to start.
I tried making garbanzo beans from scratch a few years ago, and it was a complete and utter disaster. I don't even know where I went wrong, but I know I soaked those beans for hours, and then had them simmering for hours more on the stovetop, and they just refused to cook through. After that one, pathetic attempt, I decided that cooked, canned beans were the way to go. I trust them pretty well. I mean, they taste fine. They are a little more expensive than I would like, but hey, that's the breaks. Every time I so much as glanced at a dried bean, I remembered the garbanzo bean debacle. Canned it was.
And then. I keep reading about these beans from Rancho Gordo. They are supposed to be more delicious than delicious. I caved and bought a pound, and they now stare at me reproachfully whenever I open the pantry. In order to assuage my guilt, I decided to take another stab at the garbanzos before heading for the reportedly delicious ones. So I consulted with Mark Bittman, followed his directions and... voilà! Perfect, and really good tasting. I can't believe I waited this long. But you knew where that was heading, didn't you? Obviously.
The garbanzo beans don't really merit a recipe. Instead, I present to you the moronically simple steps I followed. (I'm still kicking myself about this. It's a little ridiculous.)
Rinse and pick over a pound of garbanzo/whatever kind beans. (Mark Bittman says to source your beans from a place with a high turnover, so they don't sit on the shelf for a million years before you cook them, rendering them impossible to cook.) Before you go to work in the morning, pour the beans into a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cover with plenty of water (a couple of inches). When you get home, 8-12 hours later, drain the beans and taste for doneness. If they still need time, cover them with about 2 inches of water and set them on the stove. Bring to a simmer. Taste for doneness every 10 minutes or so. Salt. Use in whatever bean dish your heart desires.