Recipes

Cooking Basic Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

Sides Videos

 

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Arroz al Horno/Baked Rice with Sausages

clay pot cooking Main Dishes

Arroz al Horno/Baked Rice with Sausages

It was a Sunday and guests were coming over and I got inspired. Two books, The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen and Spanish Made Simple by Omar Allibhoy, inspired me. Allibhoy’s recipe was very simple but von Bremzen’s description added context and helped me to improvise, just a little. I had adventuresome guests so I decided to use a mix of local sausages, in the this case, Toulouse and budin noir from The Fatted Calf. I was a wee bit concerned about blood sausages but when the final dish came out, they were the first things gone. They...

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Corn with Black Beans and Epazote

Salads Sides Vegetarian

Corn with Black Beans and Epazote

I had a pound of frozen corn in my freezer and I’m trying my best to actually use what’s in there. I’m very good at putting things into the freezer compartment but I’m not so talented at actually using them. I hate wasting food, so despite corn coming into the farmers markets and stores, I used the frozen. It was a fine dish and I plan to make it again and again. The kernels of corn pop and the beans make it seem creamy and indulgent. I used epazote, a wonderful weed mostly famous for flavoring black beans in Oaxaca...

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Wild Mushrooms with Alubia Blanca

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Wild Mushrooms with Alubia Blanca

It’s a good thing when your neighbor is Connie Green and she offers you a nice big bag of chantrelle mushrooms. It’s even better when you have a pot of Alubia Blancas on the stove, ready to eat. Here's what I did with my bounty: Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and cut into bite-sized pieces if they’re big. Sauté mushrooms over medium-low heat in both butter and olive oil (2:1 ratio) and lots of minced garlic. A thyme sprig would also be welcome. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to soften and release their juices, 8 to 10...

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Classic Smoked Ham Hock and Beans

Main Dishes

Classic Smoked Ham Hock and Beans

A friend’s daughter is involved with 4H and I offered to buy half of one of her pigs. I was not happy when I was told the head, ears and tail weren’t available but otherwise it’s been an interesting project. I always prefer my beans with just aromatics and vegetables but we know from a lot of customers that they love to cook beans with a ham hock. Maybe I’m nuts but I never do this. I was talking about it with Georgeanne Brennan one day and she told me she boils the ham hock with just a bay leaf...

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Christmas Limas with Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Christmas Limas with Marinated Artichoke Hearts

I don’t want to pretend that this is a clever recipe that I slaved over. I had some cooked Christmas Lima beans and I had a jar of artichoke hearts. Ta da. I love artichoke hearts and the ones you find in a jar are perfectly delicious. They have a strong flavor so cooking with them isn’t always easy. I just heated the limas and the artichokes until they were warm and tossed them with chopped fresh parsley. There’s plenty of oil on the artichokes. No need for more, but I won’t judge if you do. I would think this...

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Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives on a Bed of Pureed Cassoulet Beans

clay pot cooking Main Dishes

Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives on a Bed of Pureed Cassoulet Beans

Anissa Helou’s Feast: Foood of the Islamic World (Ecco Press, 2018) is a great book and you should have it in your personal library. It’s big, beautiful and full of recipes that are complicated and exotic along with much simpler fare. The common thread is celebrations. I’ve had the book for a while now and it remains a constant inspiration. The recipes work. I’ve taken a lot of liberties with her Baked Sea Bass with Tomatoes and Olives recipe from Morocco. She calls for a whole sea bass but my market had fillets of halibut. The all green olives were...

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Beans for Breakfast (with Mushrooms, Ricotta and Good Olive Oil)

Breakfasts

Beans for Breakfast (with Mushrooms, Ricotta and Good Olive Oil)

A few leftovers and some milk that was about to expire led to this really fine breakfast. Ayocote beans are runner beans (phaseolus coccineus). This family includes Scarlet Runners and Royal Corona. They tend to be big and go from starchy to creamy. They don’t mind a little rough handling, which makes them great for salads but Ayocote Negros (which I used here) have a really beefy broth that’s excellent on its own. Ayocote Morado are the purple version but once cooked, they’re pretty interchangeable. If your milk is about to go, heat it to 180F and then add some...

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Yellow Indian Woman Beans with Pickled Shallots and Goat Cheese

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Yellow Indian Woman Beans with Pickled Shallots and Goat Cheese

I hadn’t cooked Yellow Indian Woman beans for quite awhile. They’re small and dense but somehow creamy at the same time. I think they’d be great in a chili but as usual, a simplebowl with little garnish is my preferred way to enjoy them. Macerated shallots are my current obsession: a sweet little bite that adds acid, texture and flavor. It’s not as harsh as a plain onion would be. For this meal, the Yellow Indian Woman beans met with the shallots and a few crumbles of goat cheese. As the whole mess settles and melts you get what is...

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Bean Cakes with Chard

Vegetarian

Bean Cakes with Chard

From Julia Newberry, my co-author of The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen, we have this great burger alternative. We tried a lot of bean burgers and this was the one that worked for us. I actually prefer these as smaller fritters. From Julia: "I started out thinking I would make little bean “fritters” but ended up making 3-inch patties and wrapping them in butter lettuce to eat. It turns out that the same basic recipe can be used whether you want to shape the mixture into a small ball (fritter), a small patty, or a large patty. I prefer these with...

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White Bean, Kale and Tahini Dip

Appetizers

White Bean, Kale and Tahini Dip

Leftovers are my best friends. I had made white beans and kale the previous night, and there was about a cup left. I added some tahini and lemon juice and pureed it with an immersion blender, and then I had this wonderful dip, but not before adding a healthy dose of really good extra virgin olive oil. I would have called this White Bean Hummus, but I don’t know if there is such a thing and I know how offended I am by creative martini drinks when a martini is gin and vermouth. Not being sure and not wanting to...

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Garbanzo, Tomato and Feta Salad

Salads Vegetarian

Garbanzo, Tomato and Feta Salad

From Julia at Rancho Gordo: I’ve developed a real love for summer-ripe Early Girl tomatoes. To me, they are the perfect salad tomato: meaty, sweet, and juicy, but not so juicy that they create a soggy salad. I’ve also developed a (possibly unhealthy) obsession with French sheep’s milk feta cheese. Every week I buy a big chunk of it, resting in brine in a plastic container, and crumble it over just about anything. Sometimes I eat it plain. It has a rich creaminess that I haven’t found in other feta cheeses. Chopped cucumber would be a nice addition to this...

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