In the garden

Slow Baked Garbanzos

November 27, 2017 // 12 Comments

One of my favorite books from the last years has been The Blue Zones (National Geographic, 2008) by Dan Buettner. Statistics for longevity are examined and there are some not so surprising conclusions reached, my favorite being that those of us lucky enough to make it to the old folks stage tend to eat beans. The Greek Island of Ikaria is mentioned a lot and it’s referred to as the place (Click for more)

A Free eBooklet for Your Best Thanksgiving

November 7, 2017 // 2 Comments

We’ve updated our free ebooklet, The Rancho Gordo New World Thanksgiving Guide. It now includes one of our most wildly popular recipes, the main-course Wild Rice and Heirloom Bean Salad from Napa’s Alexis Handleman of Alexis Baking Company. It’s the kind of show-stopper you don’t want to miss. Download your copy now.  The booklet has 14 recipes, all tailored to this fine (Click for more)

After All These Years in the Kitchen, I Finally Learn to Cook.

October 12, 2017 // 9 Comments

He would probably be surprised to learn it, but Mother Jones writer and food editor Tom Philpott has changed the way I cook. The roots of this revolution had been brewing for some time but I read his post about cookbooks and lights went off in my head. You’re Using Recipes Wrong: Here’s how cookbooks and food sites are wasting your time argues that cookbooks geared towards a single meal are (Click for more)

Another Thought on Why We Soak Beans

September 26, 2017 // 5 Comments

We’re harvesting Yellow Indian Woman beans and I decided to have a little party in this fine legume’s honor. I irritated my bean farmer and had him give me 5 pounds of unmilled beans. This means they are right out of the ground, a romantic concept until you realize you have to look long and hard for organic debris that is inevitably mixed in with the beans. I will tell you now that 5 (Click for more)

When Corn Is King

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

When I used to work the farmers markets, the corn growers were always very popular but they would tell me it was a loss leader. People expect it to be cheap and it’s not the easiest crop to grow, especially if you’re growing a more vulnerable heirloom variety. I’m at peace with more expensive corn, especially if it’s really good. There’s little better than (Click for more)

Corn with Black Beans and Epazote

July 11, 2017 // 2 Comments

The good corn is coming but 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 (Click for more)

The Californio Dinner at Sutter Creek Provisions

June 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

A while back I was visiting my friend Lucy and we stopped at Sutter Creek Provisions. They have a great space and even better beer. Owners Casey and Darren are so excited to be doing good things and the next thing you know, we were planning a party. I write about Lucy often. She made a name for herself in Napa many years ago with Cafe Lucy. Now she’s in Amador with Lucy’s Spice Box. (Click for more)

A Simple, Very Addictive Manzano Chile Relish

May 16, 2017 // 8 Comments

A visiting chef friend asked me to pick up three pounds of manzano chiles for a demo he was doing. These chiles are also known as peron and sometimes rocoto chiles. Many of the Mexican families here in Napa come from Michoacan and Jalisco and for them, and now for me, this is a manzano chile. Things happened and I ended up three pounds of chiles. I shared most of them with the staff here but I (Click for more)

Video: Classic Texan Chili con Carne

May 11, 2017 // 1 Comment

Last year I made this video with my beloved pal Taylor Boetticher from the Fatted Calf. There was a lot of information and I enjoyed it but it ran really long. I now present to you a more concise version of the encounter and I do believe that your chili con carne will not suffer one small bit from the cuts. And yes, we discuss “with beans or without”. I’d love to stay and chat (Click for more)

The Master Recipe: Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne

May 4, 2017 // 14 Comments

Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne Roughly based on Tolbert’s A Bowl of Red, our adaption includes heirloom beans. I would like to serve this to Mr. Tolbert and hope for the best. I wouldn’t dare speak for him but I do believe you’ll like this chili con carne. Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne 3 pounds stewing beef, lean ¼ cup rendered beef suet (tallow) or a neutral cooking oil like canola or (Click for more)
1 2 3 28