between my love of those beans...and my love of mexican food...and the number of ways italians add beans to recipes....i can honestly say that i am a bean lover. in a blog post last year, i told you that mangiafagioli meant bean eater in italian...well i am a massive mangiafagioli. so i was absolutely thrilled to discover the company rancho gordo. have you heard of them? if not...continue reading this post and then go buy some of their beans! you will not be disappointed... a bit about rancho gordo...steve sando started the company here in napa because he was very interested in preserving ingredients indigenous to the americas...he tells his story this way:
"All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. It seems to me these indigenous ingredients should be familiar, if not common but instead our own food is considered exotic and sometimes in danger of being lost as we pursue a watered down Euro-centric diet. American cuisine seems to be in a position of re-inventing itself and I'd love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it's just as important as the European heritage many of us share.
Of course you don't need to know where food originates in order to enjoy it. The beans are amazing and work in almost every cuisine. Their roots may be Mexican but can you imagine anything more French than the Flageolet bean? Borlotti may be the pride of the Piedmont in Italy but they wouldn't exist without their roots in Colombia. "
last time i visited rancho gordo i bought three kinds of beans and a bag of posole (hominy). i am going to create a different recipe for each type of beans and post to the blog. i also plan to share more of steve's story with you...he is doing some amazing things...as an example his rancho gordo-Xoxoc project helps small farmers...this deserves a story of its own.
my dad's beans
1 16 oz package rancho gordo rio zape dried beans (or 16 oz best quality pinto beans)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 bottle beer
check beans for small pebbles or other foreign matter...discard and then rinse in cool water. place beans in large stockpot and cover with two inches of water. soak for 4-6 hours.
meanwhile, sauté onion and carrot in olive oil until soft. add jalapeños and sauté for another minute or two...do not season.once beans have completed their soaking time add onion mixture to the stockpot. add beer and stir. beans should be covered with about an inch of liquid. add additional water if needed. bring to a boil for five minutes and then lower heat to simmer. cook until soft (this can take between 1-3 hours). once beans are soft...season to taste with the sea salt and pepper.
**note..the bean broth is delicious....i make a simple pasta dish with the leftover beans & broth stirred into hot pasta...served with shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese...delicious...**
i look forward to sharing other recipes using rancho gordo beans...in the meantime...what is your favorite way to prepare/eat beans?
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