Simplicity and perfection in a bowl. 

August 1, 2017 // 3 Comments

Special friends were coming over so I decided to use the last of my Marcella beans. We’ve been sold out for awhile but I’d been saving them for an occasion. This was it. (These easily could have been Alubia Blanca beans.) I soaked them for about two hours while I messed around in the kitchen and then cooked them with just half an onion, very thinly sliced with a mandolin and a smashed (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)

When It’s Too Damned Hot to Cook Beans (I Have No Sympathy For You!)

July 10, 2017 // 16 Comments

I hear it all at this time of year. “It’s too hot to cook!” “The last thing I want to do during my vacation is stand over and hot stove and fuss over beans!” “I promise, I’ll cook them again when it’s bean weather.” I feel your pain but I have no actual sympathy. Some think of beans as just as cold weather treat but is a better pal for all the (Click for more)

Decadent Simplicity: Poached Fish in a Corn Husk

July 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

After biblical winter rainstorms and a scorching season of heat waves, things in Northern California seemed to have calmed down. We’re back to fresh mornings, hot days and fog rolling in for the night. Repeat. It’s a lovely trend and I want to eat outside as much as I can. The rains seem to have washed away all the wasp nests and our usual yellowjacket plague is not happening, knock (Click for more)

The Results and the Recipes: The Rancho Gordo Virtual Chili Cookoff

July 5, 2017 // 2 Comments

These are exciting times for bean and chili fans! After quite a few office debates and pots of chili, we are happy to announce the winners of our Rancho Gordo Virtual Chili Cookoff. We developed an elaborate point system and came to some great conclusions. You folks know how to cook! What follows are the winners, the runners up and a few ties. These are their unedited recipes so you’ll not (Click for more)

My Favorite Pozole: Make Mine Blanco!

June 21, 2017 // 8 Comments

There are many versions of pozole but one of my favorites is Pozole Blanco. Unlike other pozoles where chiles are a part of the broth, Blanco is broth, meat and hominy and the heat comes from salsa on the table, to be added by the diner. This means you need a really great broth, the kind you can only get by making it yourself. I hope these instructions don’t sound fussy or laborious. It’s a (Click for more)

Tortilla Strip Croutons. Go For It.

June 16, 2017 // 3 Comments

When we made our own tortillas with heirloom corn, we used to laugh at the customers who complained that a dozen tortillas was too many. I didn’t laugh hard but it made me really realize how different we all are. A dozen tortillas is not a problem in my home. Once in a while, even at my house, there are too many tortillas. Throwing them out would be a sin but as they get older, a great way (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)
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