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The Rancho Gordo Blog

Memories of a Great Party at Alta Baja

In the garden

Never do today what you can postpone until tomorrow. In my case, never do this year what you can put off until next year. That ends today! I am here to tell you about a great event we had last year in Santa Ana and share a terrific recipe that you'll want to make at home. Are they buying what I'm selling? I'm not so sure, but I love this gang. Gustavo Arellano (Los Angeles Times), Carlos Salgado (Taco Maria), yours truly, and Delilah Snell (Alta Baja) All Photos: Cynthia Rebolledo This was the press release for the event: On...

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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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Opportunities (An Editorial)

Rants

Imagine what creating opportunities for our neighbors would mean for them and for us? What if we stopped selling arms to the bad guys? What if we stopped consuming illegal drugs from their countries? What if instead of meddling in their politics, we invested in their projects? Maybe kids could play in beanfields instead of being separated from their families and treated worse than animals in a shelter. (Sorry if this comes off as preachy but some days it's all too much.)

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Announcement: Our Response to Proposed Tariffs on Mexican Imports

Misc Rants

Our government recently decided to threaten a 5% tariff on imports from Mexico, with the fees escalating up to 25%. 5% doesn’t sound like much but you have to realize the beans are a food crop. They've been growing for 6-9 months, followed by cleaning and packaging and they've been planned long before that. It's taken us years to develop these relationships and these actions have taken their toll. Speaking for myself, I do believe in comprehensive immigration reform. Nobody is advocating for a porous border. Reform would include international laws, trade, the US role in foreign governments and humanitarian...

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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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Kitchen Object Fetish No.3: Steel Pans from Santa Barbara Forge

blu skillet cookware forge Ingredient Spotlight Misc Spanish revival

I've loved my old cast iron skillets but they are a little clumsy to use. They're heavy and they take a good long time to heat up. I'm not throwing them away, but I have been straying. A few years ago I started buying pieces from Blu Skillet Ironware and I've loved the pans. The problem is the company has become too successful and good for them, but to get a pan, you have to enter a lottery. I'm too old. The handle stays cool to the touch when you cook stovetop. A friend told me about Santa Barbara Forge...

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Rant: Let's Go Mexican Countries!

Rants Travel in Mexico

A few years ago, a friend's teacher daughter described a situation where her students were intensely debating whether they could call people Mexicans. "You can't call them that!" The teacher was confused, as she should have been. But really, Mexican for some of them was a dirty word. The probably heard the phrase, "those damned Mexicans!" and in case there's any doubt, that's not good. Fox News recently had a graphic declaring that Trump had cut aid to "3 Mexican countries." For the record, Mexico has a group of states within its borders, not countries. I think the subtext of...

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