We had a quality problem with our hummus. Sometimes the garbanzo beans were overcooked and the hummus was pasty and unappealing. Sometimes the garbanzo beans were undercooked and the hummus was gritty and unappealing. Sure, we could go to canned beans but the nutrition and quality losses just aren't worth it to our crew. What we need is better technique. Some kind of sure-fire method of cooking the beans. Preferably a method that would be forgiving of a hardworking Kitchen Crew and didn't require someone to keep a constant eye on a pot of simmering beans.
Enter technology vis a vis the Pressure Cooker. It's a classic tool but we purchased a modern electric version (you know, to protect us from the old, exploding variety). Pressure cookers work by increasing the atmospheric pressure by 15 lbs per square inch above that of normal sea level. This increases the boiling temperature of water from 212 degrees F to 250 degrees F. This increases the cooking temperature and decreases the cooking time.
Through a summer of testing and experimenting, we have a good formula of beans to water. The pressure cooker we purchased even has a bean setting! We push one button and the machine does the work. The beans cook and then the machine automatically switches to a warming function to keep them safe until we are ready to work with them. Now we can cook beans in the morning and continue our prep.
Technique is all important. Skill is a close second but in the kitchen, being willing to check your ego and admit that you need some help getting a dish right is important.
The mission of The Lexington School is to provide an education of the highest quality to students in preschool through middle school. In a structured, nurturing environment, The Lexington School seeks to instill integrity, a life-long enthusiasm for learning, and a strong work ethic.