My family loves beans, not the kidney but the white variety. We cook it with different cuts of pork, like chops, belly, loin or ribs flavored further with ham, bacon or sausages sauteed in olive oil, garlic, shallots and tomato sauce. Our bean recipe is further enhanced by the rich addition of cabbage (red) or chinese cabbage or what is locally known as pechay.
Beans can be rich in protein and could be a good substitute to pork. This means that you can have this dish with less pork and just enough to save on the food budget.
But did you know that improper way of cooking beans can prove toxic? Toxic enough to cause food poisoning? "Poisoning can be induced from as few as five raw beans and symptoms occur within three hours, beginning with nausea then vomiting which can be severe and sustained (profuse), then diarrhea. Recovery occurs within four or five hours of onset, usually without the need for any medical intervention".
Phytohaemagglutinin (PHA, or phytohemagglu
tinin), a natural toxin, is a lectin found in plants, especially in uncooked kidney and white beans. "Even a few beans can be toxic and five times more toxic if cooked at 80 °C than if eaten raw, so adequate pre-boiling is vital".
I grew a bit concerned finding this out because, my partner used to pre-boil his beans at very low temperature. To save on fuel costs, you see. And now, I am trying to recall after reading the 'food poisoning' symptoms, was there ever a time we went through it all but just ignored because we didn't know any better? Aarrgghh.
To avoid possible hassles, make sure to cook the beans at boiling temperature for at least ten (10) minutes. No less.
I learn something everyday :-)
See the full wiki entry here.