Vacacita Beans Revisited

October 23, 2006 // 4 Comments

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 (Click for more)

Bean spread

October 19, 2006 // 2 Comments

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 (Click for more)


October 17, 2006 // 3 Comments

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 (Click for more)

Sardines and avocado

October 16, 2006 // 0 Comments

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 (Click for more)

Cascabel chile sauce

October 11, 2006 // 0 Comments

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 (Click for more)

Dinner Party inspired by Frida and Diego.

October 10, 2006 // 2 Comments

I used to be a fairly good host but life took over and I tend to take the easy way out these days. One pot, not too much time, not too much trouble. Maybe you will join me in questioning my sanity. What’s the point of working so hard if not to also enjoy breaking bread (or fresh corn tortillas) with dear friends, new friends and loved ones? Am I working six days a week in order to (Click for more)

Chilaquiles with poached eggs

October 10, 2006 // 1 Comment

Sunday mornings I normally feel pretty out of it after doing the farmers market in San Francisco on Saturdays. A fellow vendor described it as “market hangover” and I know exactly what she means. Once I spent the whole day in bed watching bad TV and the longer I did the less I could move. And the worse I felt. Good food is a motivator to get out of bed. This morning I made (Click for more)

Dealing with prickly pears

October 10, 2006 // 0 Comments

My cactus has gone nuts this year and I have dozens and dozens of prickly pears and a constant stream of paddles. I’m thinking of selling the pears at market but how do you clean them? After a little web research, it seems that a culinary torch works best. I had pretty good luck with a burner from my range. One of the sites suggested water afterwards and the stinging in my hands makes me (Click for more)

Vacacita beans

October 10, 2006 // 3 Comments

I bought about a pound of beans called Vacacita in Mexico City this spring. I planted them very late here in Napa (July 1) but they came up by the 8th. The plants are as healthy as can be and there are some white blossoms but so far no beans. I don’t think they’re going to produce. I have some back up seed for next year when hopefully I can start earlier. The few flowers will be (Click for more)
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