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Heirloom Beans by Rancho Gordo (Steve_Sando)


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This afternoon I cooked RG Moro beans for the first time. Surprisingly, especially for such a small size bean, they took considerably longer to cook than many other beans. I've used a variety of RG beans over the past few years as well as two types of beans from Purcell Mountain Farms, and I cook them all pretty much the same basic method, so I'm thinking it's the Moro that's responsible. Anyone else have experience with this bean?  I had to keep adding liquid and they just kept on drinking it up. Taste was very nice, bean liquor was super rich, but I had the feeling I could have cooked them 4 hours (and that's after a 6 hour presoak) before they would have been melting and creamy. Or maybe they just don't get that way? We were hungry, so after almost 3 hours we ate 'em. Typically I cook my beans 2 to 2 1/4 hours after soaking 5-6 hours. 

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5 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

How's your water? Minerals in tap water can prevent beans from cooking properly. Here in Phoenix, the water quality and hardness fluctuates a lot, so I use RO filtered water to cook beans. Haven't had an issue since I switched.

We got a nasty surprise when we were on sabbatical in Belgium. We decided to cook lentils for dinner one night, and although we boiled them for hours, they stayed unpleasantly crunchy. The next time we were at the supermarket, we explored the bottled water, reading the labels to find one with low calcium and magnesium. Once we started using that to cook lentils and other beans, we had no more problems (other than those associated with hauling bottled water from the supermarket to our flat).

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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As far as I know the mineral content of Oakland Eau de Tap has not changed; it's always been excellent quality and taste. I'm using the same water in the same pot in the same house. Since Moro isn't a bean I cooked before, I will have to wait until I make a familiar bean to test the water, so to speak.

 

Interestingly, RG characterizes the Moro as a marriage between a black turtle and a pinto. Turtle beans do tend to hold their shape and to take longer to cook; I haven't cooked black beans in a couple of years. These Moro beans certainly have a richer liquor than black beans. 

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  • 7 months later...
  • 5 months later...

*bump*

 

Cooking first batch of beans in my new RG bean pot!  😋   High adventure indeed.

 

 

F1FA4ACD-FBF5-4AD7-9C12-802BC1CDDF86.jpeg

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"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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The bean pot set up worked well... I have a glass electric cooktop, not recommended with the pots, so I improvised. We have a raised, free standing fireplace in the middle of the living room which we “de-ashed”  and used with the butane burner. The fireplace hood vented well, as my husband noted while he was de-icing the driveway... “It smells like beans out here” 😄

Edited by BetD
Clumsy wording (log)
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"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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45 minutes ago, TicTac said:

That fireplace is amazing!!!

 

Wider angle shot please?! :)

 

 

 

 

F41924FE-48E4-496B-B60B-F890C1C75452.jpeg

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"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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I cook more on the grill, but.... winter makes that unattractive. I have always figured the fireplace as a backup should power fail for an extended period of time. I did take a week long open hearth cooking class some years back, and could certainly make do if I had to.

"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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  • 1 month later...

I received my first RG bean club shipment recently and put a half pound of Alubia Blanco beans to soak the night before I intended to cook them. 

 

I was lucky that I decided to go to the RG website to get information and advice on how to cook these beans. Steve says they are thin skinned but hold their shape well, but that was not my experience. I changed my plan of IP to cooking to  on the stove top so I could cook them gently and check progress. First I rendered Broadbent's bacon . Then I drained the bacon on paper towels and poured off most of the rendered fat. I added chopped white onion to the hot bacon fat still left in the pan. Then I added the beans with an inch of water over them. I set a timer for 20 minutes and then added the large carrot, a jalapeno pepper I had chopped into small bits on my new OXO cutting board. 

 

I went to the task of snapping the bacon into small pieces and then added that. Total cook time was about forty minutes. Almost every bean burst, and I have seen similar feedback from comments on Steve's website about the Alubia beans. So my advice from one cook of just a half pound is to treat these really gently and perhaps not presoak.

 

I do admit that I'm not usually a fan of white beans, they are my least favorite, and that is why I chose these for my first foray. I only like white beans in baked beans or Campbell's bean and bacon soup. I always hoard best for last, and Steve saying the Rio Zape beans I also received were what started him on the heirloom bean journey has made me have very high hopes for them. These will probably be saved in anticipation for last.

 

I also received some pinto beans. These ones I know for sure I love and are what I eat most often. They are so good the first time in a bean soup with pork, onion and jalapeno. Then use the leftovers for frioles refritos burritos with cheese and onion! I have always liked red beans more than white, so that is just my personal preference.

 

So these little white beans are not my favorite, but I pretty much knew they wouldn't be from the start. I always save what I think will be the best for last. Truth told, I would have appreciated the 99 cents a pound spilt green peas from Food Lion I have in the pantry more, but I knew I did not care too much for white beans, and so here we are.

 

Alubia Blanca are still good nutrition, though, with many good qualities to speak for them, and as I said, I was prejudiced from the start. White beans, aside from large dried limas, are just not my favorite.

 

I have many more delicious and nutritious RG bean varieties to look forward to. I have real faith in the Rio Zape ones.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

First I rendered Broadbent's bacon . Then I drained the bacon on paper towels and poured off most of the rendered fat. I added chopped white onion to the hot bacon fat still left in the pan. Then I added the beans with an inch of water over them. I set a timer for 20 minutes and then added the large carrot, a jalapeno pepper I had chopped into small bits on my new OXO cutting board. 

 

I went to the task of snapping the bacon into small pieces and then added that. Total cook time was about forty minutes. Almost every bean burst, and I have seen similar feedback from comments on Steve's website about the Alubia beans.

 

Did you taste the beans at your 20 min time point? I'll bet they would have been close to done, which has been my experience with this bean.  The RG beans are so fresh that they all cook very quickly and it's also best to maintain a bare simmer so they aren't getting all beaten up.

I love the Alubia Blanca beans, though a really smoky bacon might overpower their charm for me.  I like to cook them with just a clove or 2 of garlic, a bay leaf and a couple de árbol chiles.  Toss them with a little pesto or just a drizzle of olive oil and they make delicious crostini. 

Or use them in a white bean dip like the White Bean Spread with Rosemary and Toasted Almonds from Heidi Swanson's Supernatural Everyday (recipe available online here) to enjoy with vegetables or pita chips

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27 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Did you taste the beans at your 20 min time point? I'll bet they would have been close to done, which has been my experience with this bean.  The RG beans are so fresh that they all cook very quickly and it's also best to maintain a bare simmer so they aren't getting all beaten up.

I love the Alubia Blanca beans, though a really smoky bacon might overpower their charm for me.  I like to cook them with just a clove or 2 of garlic, a bay leaf and a couple de árbol chiles.  Toss them with a little pesto or just a drizzle of olive oil and they make delicious crostini. 

Or use them in a white bean dip like the White Bean Spread with Rosemary and Toasted Almonds from Heidi Swanson's Supernatural Everyday (recipe available online here) to enjoy with vegetables or pita chips

 

Good advice, and thank you.

 

I did taste them, but being an "unbeliever" I could not cope with the fact they were done in twenty minutes. It's probably where I went wrong. I'm learning, but I'm an old dog trying to do new tricks. xD

 

Thanks for your kind help with that.

 

And yeah, although I poured off most if the bacon fat from just 2.5 oz of bacon, I found the fat cloying for 1/2 pound of beans. Probably start with less bacon next time. In my defense, that was the original plan, but I froze it in 2.5 oz portions, and it seemed so small. Not really with the BIG flavor and the BIG proportion of fat.

 

And I have been thinking about some kind of hummus or something I can make to make me like this better, so good idea.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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33 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Rio Zape are one of my favorites.  I'm looking forward to trying the Flageolet.

 

 

 

I got Flageolet as well! No IDEA what to do with them, but I remember in the past reading recipes where I lamented not having access to them. Those ideations have flown from my mind.

 

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to use the Flageolets? Or for that matter, any of the other beans in this Bean Club shipment?

 

I got:

 

Alubia Blanca

Flageolets

Rio Zape

Pintos

Eye of the Goat (looks like cranberry beans, but fine by me)

Mogette de Vendee (looks like Cannellini, but again, fine by me)

California wild rice

 

It would be interesting to compare notes to see if everyone got the same things and also to share ideas about how best to utilize our bounty.

 

I have to say I'm really excited about the wild rice. I have always just loved wild rice! It is always good in a chicken soup with mushrooms, and I know several restaurants who stake their reputation on that dish.

 

I will start with that if Mogette de Vendee beans are indeed like Canellini, then Marcella Hazan has a wonderful recipe for escarole soup with them that's simple and delicious. 

 

I would love to hear all further ideas to use our beans and wild rice.

 

 

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There is a lamb shank and mint recipe by Nigel Slater for which I used Marcella beans with great success.  I would love to try the same recipe with Flageolets.

 

Rio Zape I boil up pretty simply, maybe with a bay leaf.  They have a lot of flavor.

 

The wild rice I'll be interested to try against my current favorite:  Bineshi Ghost.  They look almost like different plants.  Bineshi is straw colored and Rancho Gordo is almost black.

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@Thanks for the Crepes, the Rancho Gordo site has a lot of good recipes.  Just search for the name of the bean you have in mind.   There's a recipe for Spring Lamb and Flageolet Beans with a Cilantro Relish that sounds really good, as does the Flageolet Beans with Lemon Dressing.  I've got some of @ElainaA's slow roasted cherry tomatoes in the freezer so I will probably use some of the flageolets with them to make something like the Flageolet Beans with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and serve it with pasta.

 

13 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

It would be interesting to compare notes to see if everyone got the same things

Yes, everyone gets the same thing!

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FWIW, I've cooked flageolets and chilled them, then used them with tuna in an oil and vinegar dressing with capers and a medium boiled egg. Pretty doggoned good, and a protein powerhouse.

 

When I cook them for that, I always cook them on top of the stove and test frequently, to make sure I get them just done enough to be good and tender, but not mushy. I find they hold their shape better if I drain, rinse, and then spread them out on a sheet pan to cool.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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The Moguettes are gonna cook quickly too, be wary.  I found them to be creamier than any cannellini bean I've ever had, and I think they would make an excellent contribution to the soup.    

 

I still prefer to soak because -- well, first of all, I soak in brine.  But also -- I find that it helps the beans to cook significantly more evenly, which I think matters even more if they're going to be done in less than an hour.  That said, I think they would work absolutely fine in the Hazan soup.

 

One thing, @Thanks for the Crepes -- I've only been in the Bean Club for three shipments now, but so far it's been rather a lot of white beans (counting the Flageolets, which perhaps I shouldn't).  I was surprised, only because I didn't actually eat too many white beans before, maybe a pound a year.

 

My favorite beans of RGs is the Rebosero.  I also think that their Garbanzos are really good, like distinctly good.  

 

Edited by SLB (log)
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