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The Rancho Gordo Blog — Holiday Cooking

Flageolet Salad with Lemon, Radishes, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes.

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

A vegan salad to be enjoyed on its own or served with traditional Easter dishes. I don't think of Easter as an inspirtational meal but that's changing. I grew up with industrial hams in cans and lots of bad chocolate. I was invited to my friends' Easter celebration and when I heard that there'd be both ham and lamb, a lemony vegan side dish seemed in order. Raw, they have almost no taste. Roasted in a low oven, they become delicious jewels. It's clearly too early for good tomatoes but I've been craving them after the long winter, which seemed...

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My New Favorite Dish for Christmas: Bacalao Mexicano

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking In the kitchen

My New Favorite Dish for Christmas: Bacalao Mexicano

I don't know if this is a tradition anywhere in Mexico, but this strikes me as a generous, somewhat easy to execute Christmas dish. I've been making trial runs, and my family has loved it. I guessed that this recipe would serve 4-6 people, but this made my mother laugh. I reminded her that not everyone would be having seconds and thirds like she was. I think it would feed 6 normal people just fine. It's handy to keep a box of salt cod in your fridge. It needs to soak and be de-salted before you cook but this is...

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Leftover Strategies: Grits with Black Eyed Peas and Bacon

Breakfast at Rancho Gordo Clay pot cooking Holiday Cooking In the kitchen

Earlier, I wrote about cooking on my wood-burning stove and the success I had making grits. It was simple and fun but even having given away a lot to my mother, there was still plenty left. This morning, I gently heated the grits with a little chicken stock. Meanwhile, I sauteed some chopped bacon pieces, drained the excess fat and then stirred in some leftover Black Eyed Peas. I made a bed for the pea mixture and yes, it was ugly but so delicious that I can't wait to make it again. It fills you up and I felt I...

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Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

My romance with Black Eyed Peas continues. I had some very poor dishes made with very old peas in the past. Aside from bringing luck on New Years Day, new crop, home-made Black Eyed Peas are just plain delicious. Like Lima Beans and Teparies, they aren't as versatile as regular bean. They have a more vegetable flavor that is easy to like but not as easy to add to everything. I had leftover plain Black Eyed Peas and added them to sauteed greens, in this case they were Stinging Nettles from the farmers market, but chard, broccoli rabe or even...

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At the Movies: Video on Making the Luckiest Black Eyed Peas Ever.

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight

This is the recipe that switched me from passive Black Eyed Pea consumer to a true advocate. It's very simple, traditional and delicious. New Years Day will be a happy one with this going on in the kitchen. Our Black Eyed Peas were harvested this autumn and when we run out, that's it until next year. You can order Rancho Gordo Super Lucky Black Eyed Peas today.

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How Lucky Can You Get? Black Eyed Peas for the New Year

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight

It seems that for a lot of people, 2016 wasn't a great year. As 2018 approaches, it seems as if we need all the help we can get. Eat Black Eyed Peas on New Years Day for luck. Please. Just do it, just in case. We're counting on you. It may mean nothing or it may be the key to success in the new year, but either way, eating Black Eyed Peas couldn't hurt! I was searching the New York Times for Martha Rose Shulman's excellent vegetarian Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens recipe when I stumbled upon all of...

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New Crop: Flageolet with Lemon Vinaigrette

Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

At one point during all of our cassoulet preparations, I was speaking to cassoulet expert Kate Hill about beans to use in the iconic dish. Years ago, I used to recommend Flageolet. Kate winced politely. She is very fond of the bean, just not in a cassoulet. She offered instead the advice to brighten them up with a lemon vinaigrette and I took this to heart. Our new crop of Flageolet beans are in and they're some of the best we've had in years. They are an odd bean. Maybe a little more vegetable-like than most beans, but not like...

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Holidays at RG: The Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project Sampler

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking

Gabriel and his lovely daughter, getting a kick out of climbing a tree. When my friend Ruth Alegria told me I needed to meet Yunuen and Gabriel, I shrugged my shoulders and thought, why not? I didn't understand the work they were doing to promote the sour prickly pears known as xoconostle and even if I had, at best, I would have thought it was interesting. I couldn't have dreamed that our lives would be intertwined for the next 9 years. Together we've created a market for traditional Mexican farmers to grow their heritage beans (and not give in to...

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Holidays at RG: Heirloom Corn Prepared Hominy

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking

If there's a better Christmas Eve dish, I don't know what it is. Posole is the essential nixtamalized grain, from rare heirloom corn, for hominy stews and more. Dried hominy/posole is superior to the canned version in every way. In very limited quantities, we have gorgeous, colored heirloom corn dried hominy. These rare corns only need to be soaked and simmered to be enjoyed. Cacahuazintle is cherished in Mexico for the very best traditional pozole. The extra large kernels and white color are preferred. The Blue is hearty and also works well in salads. The Red corn has less natural...

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Look, Ma! I Made Me a Cassoulet!

Clay pot cooking Holiday Cooking In the kitchen

I spent Sunday finally making a cassoulet. I’ve been curling up with Kate Hill’s Cassoulet: A French Obsession, for a week or so and finally decided to take the plunge. I will admit I’d been working myself up into a frenzy about this and now that I’ve done it, I can say in all honesty that it’s easily within anyone’s grasp to make an excellent cassoulet. I made a few compromises but it’s easy to stay within Kate’s guidelines. Well, a lot. Please don't hold it against her that I improvised so much. Her book is the real deal. The...

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Advice from a Reader: Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens

Holiday at Rancho Gordo Holiday Cooking In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight

I'm such a lucky fellow to have such smart customers and readers. Paula was reading about my adventures with our new Black Eyed Peas and sent the following. You'll want to take notes and make plans to head straight to the market and pick up some collard greens after you read this: Hey out there in bean land! I was thinking about your article on Black Eyed Peas and wanted to share a couple more things with you. First, black eyed peas make fabulous hummus. Use them instead of garbanzos in your favorite recipe and substitute balsamic vinegar for the...

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