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The Rancho Gordo Blog — In the kitchen

Emily Nunn on Beans and Health

In the kitchen Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

Emily Nunn is one of my favorite writers. Her Comfort Food Diaries is a classic and her Twitter feed is essential reading. I asked her what she's thinking about beans and health for the new year. - Steve According to the food world, beans are having “a moment.” Well, pardon us, but beans—which are the world’s second most important food source, after grains/grasses— have been a mainstay in the Americas for centuries (and the Old World began cultivating and eating them about 10,000 years ago). There’s a very good reason for their longevity, too. Beans make the human body happy—and...

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Posole or Pozole? A Rose By Any Other Name

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc Rants Travel in Mexico

Recently on Twitter, the very talented Pati Jinich wrote that she was irked by the word posole. "It is Pozole with a Z!!!! Posole is nothing, nada!! Posole equals not Pozole. Sorry and good night.", she wrote. Now I admire Patti a lot but I think she got this one wrong, along with many of her enthusiastic followers who were quick to throw posole under the bus. My response was: "Posole is an old tradition from the US Southwest. It refers to the grain and the final dish. It's hundreds of years old and to deny this is to deny...

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Garbanzo, Chorizo, and Red Pepper Salad

In the kitchen

I get tired of people complaining about cooking in the summer. That is until I get tired of cooking in the heat. Then I understand. Jars of roasted red peppers and that package of Spanish chorizo were offering to help me with my leftover garbanzo beans. I accepted. Olive oil, sherry vinegar, some red onion, and some parsley and then dinner was ready. If you wanted to omit the chorizo and make this vegan, be sure and add a spoonful of smoked Pimenton.

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Summer Heirloom Bean Casserole (Shhhh....It's almost all from leftovers)

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian

Summer Heirloom Bean Casserole (Shhhh....It's almost all from leftovers)

First I will tell you that I meant to make Deb Perelman's Pizza Beans. This Smitten Kitchen recipe has been one of the most talked-about and produced recipes I've ever known. Members of our Bean Club make it constantly and collectively they've made it a classic. I have to admit that I've never made it. Last weekend I was determined to try it, especially knowing that I had a batch of Royal Corona beans sitting in my fridge. I dutifully printed out Deb's recipe and bought the needed ingredients at my grocery store. As it turns out, we suffered an...

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Breakfast of Champions: Eggs in Green Salsa with Epazote

Breakfast at Rancho Gordo In the kitchen Travel in Mexico Vegetarian

I've been in Mexico working on a project and this dish stood out. Scrambled eggs cooked separately and then drowned in tomatillo salsa, topped with a handful of chopped epazote. I love epazote. You might know how well it works with beans, black beans in particular, but it's also terrific in a quesadilla. It likes cheese a lot. Mushrooms and octopus, too. It turns out eggs are also a natural partner. Simple and perfect. Don't forget the tortillas.

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Pasta e Fagioli a la Omnivore (or Il Nostro Caro Angelo)

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc

Pasta e Fagioli a la Omnivore (or Il Nostro Caro Angelo)

Is this not a thing of beauty? A bowl of cranberry (Borlotti) beans with homemade pasta in a sauce of bean broth, chicken broth, and vegetables. It's moist and delicious but not at all soupy. A perfect balance of beans, pasta, and inspiration. Angelo with my son, Nico, before a failed, but fun, turkey hunt. Last week Angelo Gorro of Omnivore Salt (and sauces, etc) came by for a visit and pulled out all the stops with his own pasta, his own salume, his own sausage and of course his own salt. The variations on pasta e fagioli (pasta and...

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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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Pepitas are Everything

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

I've always liked roasted pumpkin seeds, but I've mostly enjoyed them when they've "stayed in their lane," with dishes like pipian and Sikil Pak. Lately, I've been putting them on everything, and they add gravitas to the most boring dish that is remarkable. Buy the raw, shelled variety and then briefly pan roast them. A salad is an obvious new home but keep experimenting. I had some wild arugula from my CSA box. I added some cassoulet beans and olive oil and then topped the whole thing off with some pepitas. I couldn't have been happier. You need to be...

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A Rant: We Are Not Normal

In the kitchen Misc Rants

This was in our newsletter a couple of weeks ago and it clearly had an impact on some of our bean buddies. I thought I'd reprint it here. Maybe you recognize yourself. - Steve It’s easy to like our customers. People who cook and appreciate heirloom beans tend to be more interesting, nicer, and enjoy a better quality of life. I live in a bubble of delicious food and like-minded people so I sometimes lose track of life in the “real world.” I prefer hanging out with my fellow bean freaks. You may not realize it but as time marches...

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Guest Post: Julia's Preserved Meyer Lemon Relish

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc Vegetarian>Vegan

The two Meyer lemon trees in our backyard went crazy this winter. My family has been enjoying the harvest in every way that we can, and handing them out to friends by the bushel. (Okay, I don't actually know what a bushel is, but thought it sounded cool and homestead-y.) When we are rich in Meyer lemons, I usually make a batch of preserved lemons using a method that a friend shared with me, which came from her Persian family recipe vault. They are super secretive about the recipe—she's one of my best friends and I had to pry it...

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Experiments with Garbanzos, Spinach and Smoked Paprika

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

There was about a cup of garbanzos and a cup of their broth sitting in the refrigerator. I was starving. Well, quite hungry. I added some frozen spinach, olive oil and a teaspoon of our new Smoked Spanish Pimenton Paprika. Once heated through, a drizzle of my best olive oil and a scant squeeze of lemon. Holy cow. There was a moment when I thought to add some rendered pancetta for body and substance but I didn't feel like dirtying another pan. Hush! I'm confessing. I will say there was no need to worry. The pimenton adds a little smokiness...

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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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