I have been making bean salads but often my beans get a bit mushy when I cook them. How can I have them be done but keep their form?
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what kind of beans? Green beans, wax beans, and the like, cook the beans till al dente or under done and immediately refresh in ice bath to stop cooking. For Great Northern, Cannelli, or general white beans, as soon as they are to the point you like just add a little acid - tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, lemon. about a teaspoon or tablespoon depending on the amount of beans. The acid prevents further cooking.
To cook dried beans but prevent them from getting mushy, I brine them. I bring 4 quarts of water, 1 pound of beans, and 3 tbsp. of salt to a boil in a large pot, remove the pot from heat, cover it, and let it sit for an hour. I drain the beans, then add them back to the pot along with water to cover, and simmer the beans till they are tender.
Put them in a steamer, watch carefully and then refresh in cold water.