For orders or assistance: 1-800-599-8323

For orders or assistance: 1-800-599-8323

The Rancho Gordo Blog

Kiss My Grits, or at least eat them

* In the kitchen

It's been a Halloween tradition that I bring my Posole/Fish stew to Sonoma and set up a home base at my pals Maureen and Mike's house while the kiddies go out trick or treating. Halloween isn't my favorite holiday but with good food and wine (Mike works for Gloria Ferrer, who in addition to their more famous sparkling wines make an underrated chardonnay), it's a lot of fun. This year I made far too much posole and have been experimenting ever since. The most successful has been this breakfast treat. Puree leftover cooked hominy in a mini-food processor with just...

Read more →


June in November

In the garden

What's going on here? It's November and it's mild and pleasant and things are still happening in the garden. Several bean plants have new growth and even new beans. I wouldn't be surprised to see bean blossoms if this keeps up.

Read more →


Tomatillo Salsa Step by Step

* In the kitchen

I think should explain the salsa I described previously a little more in depth. Take these ingredients and place them on a medium high comal or skillet: 2 slices of red onion, 2 cloves of unpeeled garlic, 2 serrano chiles and some tomatillos in their husks. Allow them to roast and get soft. The onions will start to caramelize. Flip the onions when they're done and move the other ingredients around to cook evenly. As the ingredients finish, place them in a bowl to cool down and to collect any juices that may run. The tomatillos will start to get...

Read more →


Tomatillos Milperos

* In the garden In the kitchen

If you grow tomatillos (tomates verdes, Physalis ixocarpa) once, you'll probably have them for life. If only one of the fruits falls to the ground, your future will most likely include tomatillos. Mine are a mix of plants from the nursery, seed companies and even trips to Mexico. They tend to be smaller, sweeter and mostly purple when fully ripe. A milpero is a cornfield and it's common to find the tomatillos among the cornstalks. The plants look a lot like Deadly Nightshade and they are in the same family (as are tomatoes) so when you're doing early weeding, don't...

Read more →


Tarahumara Tekomari Runner Beans

In the garden

I love big fat runner beans like Runner Cannellini and Scarlet Runners. They are meaty and often exude a delicious pot liquor. They are great in a chile sauce, with wild mushrooms or just topped with olive oil and a dry cheese. When I got these seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange, I was pretty thrilled, but in the garden, they were the last beans to germinate and I assumed they were a lost cause. Just as I was giving up, they plants emerged and eventually were the first to flower. What a great color on these flowers! I love...

Read more →


Small tacos with Orca beans and Chorizo

In the kitchen

('m back on he road so here's an "encore post" from the past) For breakfast this fine Sunday I made these little tacos, starting with tortillas made from fresh masa. Then a spoonful of Orca beans, chorizo from the Fatted Calf, shredded cheese, Cholula hot sauce and a touch of crema. The Orca beans look like black beans but they're very closely related to Ansazi. They have a rich, inky black pot liquor but the beans are two-toned. They have a great texture and flavor.

Read more →


Vacacita Beans Revisited

In the garden

I was walking through the trial gardens with some friends, mostly to collect sunflower seeds, when my eagle eyes spied some actual bean pods among the foliage of the Vacacita beans. These beans have so far been non-existent despite some glorious plants and I had written them off as a loss. Now I think I have at least enough seed to try again next year, hopefully much earlier in the season.

Read more →


Bean spread

* In the kitchen Royal Corona

Snack-a-licious! This is leftover pureed Royal Coronas with some smoked bittersweet Spanish paprika, topped with some lump crab, drizzled with Bariani olive oil and then finished with endive from California Vegetable Specialties (endive supplier to the stars!) for dipping and scooping. 2 Nights later: Leftover crab Mini tortillas, Happy Girl salsa (I was too lazy and it's very good), the leftover crab and just a smoodge of crema. I'm pretty sure smoodge is a real word.

Read more →


Sardines and avocado

In the kitchen

I had a similar plate of this in Mexico City this last Spring but Paula Wolfert has a similar version in her book The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. It works as a light dinner or an appetizer plate. The ingredients are: canned sardines, sliced avocado, large white runner beans in a simple vinaigrette, thin red onion rings, pickled jalapeño peppers and a small stack of mini tortillas. You could also use good tortilla chips or even bread. If you find a good brand of domestic sardines, let me know. The European sardines always seem to be packed in better oil.

Read more →


Purslane

* In the garden In the kitchen

I first encountered purslane in the books of Diana Kennedy. In Spanish, it's known as verdolagas and often teamed with pork and tomatillos for what must be a tangy stew that I've never tried. I found it in my garden when I took up tomato-growing and was pleased that the succulent weed came up so easily by the root. Once I identified it as purslane, I took the weeds to the farmers market where I was thrilled to see I could get $3 a pound for my waste! All of my purslane customers were Mexican or Indian and they were...

Read more →


Cascabel chile sauce

* chiles In the kitchen

This is one of the easiest salsas imaginable. It's nutty and has a very mild heat. I've been putting it in a squeeze bottle and smothering my eggs with it. Last night I used it with a little beer to de-glaze a pan that had turkey cutlets frying in it earlier. Take about 10 cascabel chiles and remove the stems and seeds, reserving the seeds. Toast on a hot comal or grill untul gently toasted. Don't let them burn or they will be bitter and inedible but if you don't toast them they will have a raw, inpleasant taste. Remove...

Read more →


Bean flowers

In the garden

People don't tend to know how beautiful bean flowers are. Let's put an end to that right now! These were the last to germinate but the first to bloom. They are a Tarahumara Tekomari runner bean (which is kind of funny as they are known for being such good runners themselves.) These are Black runner beans. So far I haven't seen much of a yield and now that the rain is starting I think it's really time to explore more cooking with bean flowers. This is a red bean called Taos. It was a healthy plant all sumnmer and we...

Read more →