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SpaghettiWestern

Question about dried bean varieties

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Mmm, 'snakes in a pot! Just curious, Andie, have you cooked the Rattlesnakes you got recently from Purcell? I made my first batch the other day and think they are really great. Better even than I remembered.

And I received my latest order from RG with beans I've never had before: Mayacobas, Baby Limas and Bolitas. It will be interesting to see how the Bolitas fare in a straight up Mexican preparation, where I would otherwise use a Pinto or, nowadays, Rattlers. Also included were my two oreganos, and I'm planning to use the Indio in my Bolita beans. That is if I don't smoke it all first. Wow, talk about a sensation when you first open the jar. It's positively....ceremonial.

About cornbread. To me, saying there is an authentic cornbread is rather like saying there is an authentic white bread. My latest twist on my own cornbread recipe is to sub a small amount of buckwheat for either the corn meal or the white flour. Yes, I do use some AP white flour in my corn bread.


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)

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Also included were my two oreganos, and I'm planning to use the Indio in my Bolita beans. That is if I don't smoke it all first. Wow, talk about a sensation when you first open the jar. It's positively....ceremonial.

"Ceremonial"! Perfect description. It is, isn't it?

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Mmm, 'snakes in a pot! Just curious, Andie, have you cooked the Rattlesnakes you got recently from Purcell? I made my first batch the other day and think they are really great. Better even than I remembered.

And I received my latest order from RG with beans I've never had before: Mayacobas, Baby Limas and Bolitas. It will be interesting to see how the Bolitas fare in a straight up Mexican preparation, where I would otherwise use a Pinto or, nowadays, Rattlers. Also included were my two oreganos, and I'm planning to use the Indio in my Bolita beans. That is if I don't smoke it all first. Wow, talk about a sensation when you first open the jar. It's positively....ceremonial.

About cornbread. To me, saying there is an authentic cornbread is rather like saying there is an authentic white bread. My latest twist on my own cornbread recipe is to sub a small amount of buckwheat for either the corn meal or the white flour. Yes, I do use some AP white flour in my corn bread.

The Bolitas are great in Sopa Tarasca (Tomato - Bean Soup) & Dulce de Frijol (Sippable Bean Pudding)

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Mmm, 'snakes in a pot! Just curious, Andie, have you cooked the Rattlesnakes you got recently from Purcell? I made my first batch the other day and think they are really great. Better even than I remembered.

And I received my latest order from RG with beans I've never had before: Mayacobas, Baby Limas and Bolitas. It will be interesting to see how the Bolitas fare in a straight up Mexican preparation, where I would otherwise use a Pinto or, nowadays, Rattlers. Also included were my two oreganos, and I'm planning to use the Indio in my Bolita beans. That is if I don't smoke it all first. Wow, talk about a sensation when you first open the jar. It's positively....ceremonial.

About cornbread. To me, saying there is an authentic cornbread is rather like saying there is an authentic white bread. My latest twist on my own cornbread recipe is to sub a small amount of buckwheat for either the corn meal or the white flour. Yes, I do use some AP white flour in my corn bread.

I haven't yet cooked the rattlesnake beans. I am taking them along when I visit my daughter for Christmas and am planning on making my adapted version of Moors and Christians in which I don't use white rice, I use the extremely flavorful Bhutan red rice so I am adding another color to the black and white beans.

This dish really highlights the beans and these are the perfect ones to use in this dish.

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EatNopales you've given me a good idea. Never had Sopa Tarasca, but I looked up some recipes and it sounds yummy. One of my dream trips is to go to Patzcuaro for Day of the Dead. Since I have some red chile paste in the freezer that I made with anchos and guajillos and plenty of chicken broth in there as well, I'm going to make my own deconstructed version of Sopa Tarasca. By deconstructed I just mean I prefer to leave the beans whole rather than blending them up, but I will use the traditional tomato, with fried tortilla strips and some queso fresco for garnish.

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EatNopales you've given me a good idea. Never had Sopa Tarasca, but I looked up some recipes and it sounds yummy. One of my dream trips is to go to Patzcuaro for Day of the Dead. Since I have some red chile paste in the freezer that I made with anchos and guajillos and plenty of chicken broth in there as well, I'm going to make my own deconstructed version of Sopa Tarasca. By deconstructed I just mean I prefer to leave the beans whole rather than blending them up, but I will use the traditional tomato, with fried tortilla strips and some queso fresco for garnish.

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get to spend about 6 weeks in Michoacan - Morelia, to be exact. I went to one of those immersion language schools where you stay with a local family. I had told them that I would like to stay with a family that was interested in cooking. They said that the woman that taught their cooking classes, Chila, actually worked in the home of a family that hosted students, and I could stay with them. So I did.

Chila was a Purépecha Indian woman from a village not far from Patzcuaro. She and I hit it off immediately, and I spent many hours in the kitchen with her, watching her cook, and listening to her stories about her village.

As is typical in Mexico, the family had their big meal (comida) around 2 in the afternoon. This meal always included a soup and Sopa Tarasca was the favorite of the patriarch, "El Señor," Don Pepe, so they had it at least once a week. I told her that I had had it at the restaurant in Patzcuaro where it was purportedly invented, and asked her if she knew whether or not her version was prepared anything like the original recipe. She responded that she had no idea, as she had never eaten at that restaurant and wasn't familiar with the "original recipe," but that hers was basically identical to the way everyone else in her village made it, for whatever that was worth.

Here are the notes I made at the time (and posted on another cooking board):

Sopa Tarasca

(Before we get into this, I have to tell you that I just watched Chila make it and took notes. I haven´t done it myself and haven´t worked out any of the proportions and Chila doesn´t measure, so basically, I´m just guessing. Also I should add that in another thread, Rancho mentioned "two schools of thought regarding beans." I am certain Chila has not traveled far, nor read a lot of cookbooks, if any. She does make this soup with beans and I asked her if she knew of anyone that made it without beans. She said she didn´t and that everyone in her village makes it basically this way. Obviously other folks do make it without beans, so her recipe is clearly just one version and not some sort of definitive method.)

I had told my profesor that Chila was going to teach me to make Sopa Tarasca and he told me to have her write a list of things she´d need and for our lesson on Friday, we´d go to the market and buy everything. Which we did. At an absolutely wonderful market called San Jose. The recipe calls for chiles negros. These are dried black chiles. I guess I´m now in the group that I´ve called "chile ponderers" - folks that discuss this chile and that and try to figure out the different names that they´re called in different parts of the world. I´ve asked several times if there is another name for these chiles before they´re dried, but everybody just says that they´re chiles negros and I have no clue if I´m ever going to be able to find them in the US. Also, we bought "laurel" which I figured was bay leaves and they obviously are related, but these seem smaller and softer. (A note about the chiles; I've since been told they're called 'ancho' in the US.)

Back to the soup: First, she cooked up a big pot of Flor de Mayo beans. She did it in a fairly common way - picked them over for stones, etc., then washed them, then cooked them, covered in a pressure cooker. She added no salt or anything else. I told her I might not be able to find Flor de Mayo beans in the US and she said you could use any beans you like and that a lot of her friends just use pintos.

When they were done, she took a ladle and scooped out I´d say about two cups worth, more or less, drained and set them aside. They just about filled what my family calls a cereal or soup bowl. Then she put about 3 T of oil in a skillet and sliced about half of a med-sized white onion. She took one of the chiles, removed the stem and seeds, and tore it into some small pieces. She fried the onion and chile pieces on pretty high heat until the onion was beginning to brown. Then she dumped the drained bowl of beans into a blender and added the fried onion and chile. She looked at me and said, "and all the oil" and smiled as if to say, "we don´t need no stinking diet." She added what I´d guess was 1-2 cups of water. She explained to me that she used to use a good chicken broth and still does if she has it, but didn´t have it, so we would add "Suiza" later. I had no clue what she was talking about. Suiza means Swiss, of course, but exactly what Swiss thing we were going to be putting in was a mystery until she pulled out a great big jar of Knorr's (isn´t it? - don´t want to look it up) powdered chicken bouillon. So, after adding the water, the whole thing came to about 2/3rd up the side of the blender. She processed it all until it was smooth. Then she poured it into an average-sized skillet and turned up the heat to let it boil.

She obviously used the skillet to measure, because it was close to full but not quite. So she added a few ladles of the broth from the bean pot (carefully straining it, telling me that it was important that the texture of the soup be smooth) until the liquid in the skillet was close to overflowing. Then she put in a small handful of cilantro, and at least six or seven laurel leaves, and the powdered "Swiss" chicken bouillon to taste. She told me not to add salt, but instead to add the bouillon "a gusto" - to taste.

While the soup was simmering, she took about 8 or 9 corn tortillas (that she had bought this morning from the tortillera on the corner) and cut them into small squares, about 3/4 inch each. She put a lot of oil into a skillet and fried them up to a nice golden color and then, after draining them on paper towels, put them into a small bowl and set them on the table. (She told me she had made more than we needed because we´re having chilaquiles for breakfast tomorrow morning.) She calls them "tostadaditas." At her direction, I bought some Queso Oaxaca at the market and she shredded it and set it aside. She took four or five of the chiles negros (and I doubt I´m spelling that correctly) and removed the stems and then rolled each chile between her hands to soften them before putting them on the comal to toast. After they were toasted, she crumbled them into small bits and put them into a small bowl that also went on the table.

So, it was time to eat.

Into each individual soup bowl she put a handful of the shredded cheese, and then ladled the hot soup over. The bowls with the tostaditas were passed, and we each put some into the soup, and then came the bowl with the crumbled bits of toasted chile negro, which we sprinkled onto our soup. And then, a bowl of sour cream, which we drizzled over all.

I hope I´ve gotten this all correct, as this soup was so very, very good, I want to do it justice. After I get home, I´ll make it a time or two to double-check the measurements, but until then, hope those of you that are interested can get started giving it a go!

ETA: Since I originally posted this, back when I first got home, I've made the soup quite a number of times. I'm still kind of "guessing" as to the amounts of the ingredients used, but it's turned out great every time.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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EatNopales you've given me a good idea. Never had Sopa Tarasca, but I looked up some recipes and it sounds yummy. One of my dream trips is to go to Patzcuaro for Day of the Dead. Since I have some red chile paste in the freezer that I made with anchos and guajillos and plenty of chicken broth in there as well, I'm going to make my own deconstructed version of Sopa Tarasca. By deconstructed I just mean I prefer to leave the beans whole rather than blending them up, but I will use the traditional tomato, with fried tortilla strips and some queso fresco for garnish.

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get to spend about 6 weeks in Michoacan - Morelia, to be exact. I went to one of those immersion language schools where you stay with a local family. I had told them that I would like to stay with a family that was interested in cooking. They said that the woman that taught their cooking classes, Chila, actually worked in the home of a family that hosted students, and I could stay with them. So I did.

Chila was a Purépecha Indian woman from a village not far from Patzcuaro. She and I hit it off immediately, and I spent many hours in the kitchen with her, watching her cook, and listening to her stories about her village.

As is typical in Mexico, the family had their big meal (comida) around 2 in the afternoon. This meal always included a soup and Sopa Tarasca was the favorite of the patriarch, "El Señor," Don Pepe, so they had it at least once a week. I told her that I had had it at the restaurant in Patzcuaro where it was purportedly invented, and asked her if she knew whether or not her version was prepared anything like the original recipe. She responded that she had no idea, as she had never eaten at that restaurant and wasn't familiar with the "original recipe," but that hers was basically identical to the way everyone else in her village made it, for whatever that was worth.

Here are the notes I made at the time (and posted on another cooking board):

Sopa Tarasca

(Before we get into this, I have to tell you that I just watched Chila make it and took notes. I haven´t done it myself and haven´t worked out any of the proportions and Chila doesn´t measure, so basically, I´m just guessing. Also I should add that in another thread, Rancho mentioned "two schools of thought regarding beans." I am certain Chila has not traveled far, nor read a lot of cookbooks, if any. She does make this soup with beans and I asked her if she knew of anyone that made it without beans. She said she didn´t and that everyone in her village makes it basically this way. Obviously other folks do make it without beans, so her recipe is clearly just one version and not some sort of definitive method.)

I had told my profesor that Chila was going to teach me to make Sopa Tarasca and he told me to have her write a list of things she´d need and for our lesson on Friday, we´d go to the market and buy everything. Which we did. At an absolutely wonderful market called San Jose. The recipe calls for chiles negros. These are dried black chiles. I guess I´m now in the group that I´ve called "chile ponderers" - folks that discuss this chile and that and try to figure out the different names that they´re called in different parts of the world. I´ve asked several times if there is another name for these chiles before they´re dried, but everybody just says that they´re chiles negros and I have no clue if I´m ever going to be able to find them in the US. Also, we bought "laurel" which I figured was bay leaves and they obviously are related, but these seem smaller and softer. (A note about the chiles; I've since been told they're called 'ancho' in the US.)

Back to the soup: First, she cooked up a big pot of Flor de Mayo beans. She did it in a fairly common way - picked them over for stones, etc., then washed them, then cooked them, covered in a pressure cooker. She added no salt or anything else. I told her I might not be able to find Flor de Mayo beans in the US and she said you could use any beans you like and that a lot of her friends just use pintos.

When they were done, she took a ladle and scooped out I´d say about two cups worth, more or less, drained and set them aside. They just about filled what my family calls a cereal or soup bowl. Then she put about 3 T of oil in a skillet and sliced about half of a med-sized white onion. She took one of the chiles, removed the stem and seeds, and tore it into some small pieces. She fried the onion and chile pieces on pretty high heat until the onion was beginning to brown. Then she dumped the drained bowl of beans into a blender and added the fried onion and chile. She looked at me and said, "and all the oil" and smiled as if to say, "we don´t need no stinking diet." She added what I´d guess was 1-2 cups of water. She explained to me that she used to use a good chicken broth and still does if she has it, but didn´t have it, so we would add "Suiza" later. I had no clue what she was talking about. Suiza means Swiss, of course, but exactly what Swiss thing we were going to be putting in was a mystery until she pulled out a great big jar of Knorr's (isn´t it? - don´t want to look it up) powdered chicken bouillon. So, after adding the water, the whole thing came to about 2/3rd up the side of the blender. She processed it all until it was smooth. Then she poured it into an average-sized skillet and turned up the heat to let it boil.

She obviously used the skillet to measure, because it was close to full but not quite. So she added a few ladles of the broth from the bean pot (carefully straining it, telling me that it was important that the texture of the soup be smooth) until the liquid in the skillet was close to overflowing. Then she put in a small handful of cilantro, and at least six or seven laurel leaves, and the powdered "Swiss" chicken bouillon to taste. She told me not to add salt, but instead to add the bouillon "a gusto" - to taste.

While the soup was simmering, she took about 8 or 9 corn tortillas (that she had bought this morning from the tortillera on the corner) and cut them into small squares, about 3/4 inch each. She put a lot of oil into a skillet and fried them up to a nice golden color and then, after draining them on paper towels, put them into a small bowl and set them on the table. (She told me she had made more than we needed because we´re having chilaquiles for breakfast tomorrow morning.) She calls them "tostadaditas." At her direction, I bought some Queso Oaxaca at the market and she shredded it and set it aside. She took four or five of the chiles negros (and I doubt I´m spelling that correctly) and removed the stems and then rolled each chile between her hands to soften them before putting them on the comal to toast. After they were toasted, she crumbled them into small bits and put them into a small bowl that also went on the table.

So, it was time to eat.

Into each individual soup bowl she put a handful of the shredded cheese, and then ladled the hot soup over. The bowls with the tostaditas were passed, and we each put some into the soup, and then came the bowl with the crumbled bits of toasted chile negro, which we sprinkled onto our soup. And then, a bowl of sour cream, which we drizzled over all.

I hope I´ve gotten this all correct, as this soup was so very, very good, I want to do it justice. After I get home, I´ll make it a time or two to double-check the measurements, but until then, hope those of you that are interested can get started giving it a go!

ETA: Since I originally posted this, back when I first got home, I've made the soup quite a number of times. I'm still kind of "guessing" as to the amounts of the ingredients used, but it's turned out great every time.

On the Sopa Tarasca controversies.... Sopa Tarasca evolved as a restaurant version of a more traditional Bean & Tomato Atapakua (Atapakuas are the Purepecha name for Light Moles that are primarily thickened with Vegetables and/or Legumes as opposed Nuts, Seeds, Masa and/or Chiles)....

I am possibly going into the restaurant business in the next 3 months & have been working on recipe development etc.... my version of "Sopa Tarasca" is rooted in the pre-hispanic version (because I like, it fits my story & is Vegan friendly)... I am using RG's Bolita beans (cooked in Clay), Fresh Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic, Salt... no other dried chiles, cheese or cream... plus a garnish of quick fried cilantro leaves.... if you want a fulfilling, low calorie, deeply soulful, ancient dish it is hard to beat... you really don't miss anything else.

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Real southern cornbread is just cornmeal, salt, baking soda, eggs and buttermilk. No wheat flour, no sugar.

You can add a tablespoon or so of wheat flour but I seldom do. The first photo on my blog page is of the finished product just out of the oven. The last photo at the bottom of the page shows a wedge split and buttered.

In certain areas of the south "hot water cornbread" is favored but it is fried, not baked and to my taste is not what I consider real cornbread. Unless it is done exactly right you have corn rocks as an end result.

Andie, do you not put any fat in your cornbread? Mama never made cornbread (nor do I) without a couple of tablespoons of bacon drippings. In a pinch, and without bacon drippings (the horror!) I've used vegetable oil. But always a couple of tablespoons of a fat.

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I know I'm not Andie, but assuming everybody can jump in, we always put the fat, usually bacon grease, into the cast-iron skillet before we put it into the oven to heat up.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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EatNopales, what would make the recipe something other than pre-hispanic?

And another question: I notice that most recipes for Sopa Tarasca call for adding the onion and tomatoes after the beans are cooked. Typically when I make a pot of beans, be it for red beans 'n rice or a more New Mexican style, I saute the onions and garlic, etc. first, then add the beans and then the stock, whether chicken or ham based, so the beans cook in the stock rather than in plain water. If I am using tomatoes (I usually don't) I would think to add them along with the stock, or at least early on. Does this particular Michoacan soup get its character from adding tomatoes late in the game, which I can imagine would be a fresher taste?

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I know I'm not Andie, but assuming everybody can jump in, we always put the fat, usually bacon grease, into the cast-iron skillet before we put it into the oven to heat up.

That's the way it states in my instructions. If I don't have bacon drippings (a rare occurrence) I use lard, also home-rendered.

The hot fat is poured into the batter, mixed and the batter immediately poured into the hot skillet - that is how one gets the perfect crust.

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EatNopales, what would make the recipe something other than pre-hispanic?

And another question: I notice that most recipes for Sopa Tarasca call for adding the onion and tomatoes after the beans are cooked. Typically when I make a pot of beans, be it for red beans 'n rice or a more New Mexican style, I saute the onions and garlic, etc. first, then add the beans and then the stock, whether chicken or ham based, so the beans cook in the stock rather than in plain water. If I am using tomatoes (I usually don't) I would think to add them along with the stock, or at least early on. Does this particular Michoacan soup get its character from adding tomatoes late in the game, which I can imagine would be a fresher taste?

Hi Katie... the addition of Cheese, Crema & Fried Tortillas are what gives it the 20th Century Restaurant food element.

Pre-Hispanic Cooking is generally much lower in fat than Hispanic cooking... Avocados & Pumpkin Seeds were the primary source of daily fats in the Mesoamerican cuisines (and its hard to eat European quantities of dietary fat because of the huge quantities of fiber that come with them).... Pre-Hispanic cooks did render oil from Pumpkin Sees & Duck Fat... but these were luxuries not part of the everyday foods.

With regards to the timing of Tomato addition... in Mexico there are always multiple ways to do some thing with their own camps insisting theirs is the right way.... it is common to make the beans simply at first... then separately blacken the tomatos, garlic & onion... puree those... fry the sauce then added the pureed beans to the sauce to simmer until the flavors integrate.... that is my preferred method it results in a deep, hard to pin savoryness... even in my Vegan version there is so much depth of flavor that most people would not even miss animal broth, cheese or crema.

Of course there is nothing wrong with broths etc., from an authenticity perspective... but in the grand scheme of constructing a pre-hispanic rooted complete meal... there is a certain balance in total fat to be achieved that sometimes makes it compelling to make some dishes in their most rustic & light incarnation.

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I have ordered beans from Rancho Gordo in the past a few times and am going to put in another large order with friends this month. They are the best beans I have ever had and light years better than beans I have had from the best high-end grocery stores in this area. The variety of beans are a treat to explore. And although I usually buy my everyday pintos from the mainline grocery stores, from them I have had okay beans, not so okay beans and miserably old not okay ones (would not soften even after 4 hours of cooking after an overnight soak!). There are dozens of people in the eG forums who can tell the same story.

If you simply don't want to spend the money on Rancho Gordo or other heritage beans, then don't.

What he said! :smile:

Okay. Okay. You guys have shamed me into placing an order with Rancho Gordo if my mate, Beedy, will go along with it. She'll have to help select what beans we want to try. And help pay for them.... :smile:

Update: I talked with Beedy and I'm going to order five or six pounds of beans, and some Mexican oregano and Oregano Indio.

I need some help in deciding what to get for beans. I'm definitely going to get a pound of Pintos, so I can compare them with what I've grown, and a pound of Good Mother Stallard's, since they seem to be a favorite on this thread.

What other beans do you recommend, and what do you make with them?

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I have already said that I really like the mayacoba beans. If you like navy beans, you will like these better, in my opinion.

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Update: I talked with Beedy and I'm going to order five or six pounds of beans, and some Mexican oregano and Oregano Indio.

I need some help in deciding what to get for beans. I'm definitely going to get a pound of Pintos, so I can compare them with what I've grown, and a pound of Good Mother Stallard's, since they seem to be a favorite on this thread.

What other beans do you recommend, and what do you make with them?

We really, really loved the large white limas. He had giant white limas for a while, but hasn't had them in a long time. So I'm talking about just the "large white limas," which he has fairly often.

We also like the Christmas Limas.

They're all just so good, and of course, we're in the camp that hated those green lima beans as kids, so I can assure you that Steve's taste nothing like that.

We are particularly fond of cooking them with a hamhock. And maybe a little crushed red pepper.

They don't need much.

ETA - I've used various of RG's limas to make a Greek dish, wherein you bake the beans with roasted red peppers. Here's a good recipe: Baked Greek Beans & Roasted Red Peppers


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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EatNopales, I'll let you know what I do and how it turns out at the end of the week. My beans are never fatty, since I defat my stock--whether pork or chicken--before using it. My plan is now to add roasted tomatoes and garlic at the end, along with the chile rojo and salt, for the last ten or fifteen minutes of cooking. In a traditional Tarasca, when is the chile added? Looks like from a variety of pix that a dried chile is added whole. Can't wait to try something new!

Country, you might try the Rebosero beans. I've used them in place of Pintos (when I couldn't get my precious Rattlers.) They are very nice, and might be a good taste test along side RG Pintos and grocery shelf beans.


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)

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I need some help in deciding what to get for beans. I'm definitely going to get a pound of Pintos, so I can compare them with what I've grown, and a pound of Good Mother Stallard's, since they seem to be a favorite on this thread.

What other beans do you recommend, and what do you make with them?

You should get a variety so you will know how the different beans taste and work in different dishes.

Along with the ones you have picked, I would add

Cranberry beans

Ayocote Negro

and either the Christmas Limas or the Runner Cannellini.

Too bad the Snowcaps are all gone, otherwise I would recommend them.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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Here’s my pick of 5 beans for an RG sampler that has a variety of color, size, flavor and texture.

Good Mother Stallard (as you mentioned) or Goat’s Eye (Ojo de Cabra) Beans. They are similar and I like them both but I especially like to say, “Ojo de Cabra” so I might pick them. I often use them in a pasta with beans and greens.

Midnight Black Beans. I use these for the Black Bean Chili from “The Greens” cookbook in the winter and in a black bean and roasted corn salad in the summer. Non-heirloom black beans are readily available but I think these are much better so I’m willing to pay up. These would be good if you want to compare grocery store beans in a side by side way.

Alubia Blanca de San Jose Iturbide. These are lovely pure snowy white beans and maybe even more fun to say than “Ojo de Cabra!” RG says these are a good sub for the marrow beans that used to be one of my favorites. I use them in the White Bean and Rosemary Spread from “Super Natural Every Day.” I absolutely ADORE that bean spread - one of my most used recipes for 2011! I usually scale the recipe up to a full pound of beans as it freezes beautifully. Just pulled a tub out of the freezer this AM to bring to a pot-luck this evening. I also make crostini with some of these beans tossed with pesto and spooned on to crispy little toasts, topped with shavings of Romano cheese.

Tepary Beans. Either white or brown. I think these little beans are just so cute! They hold their shape nicely in soups or salads but make a great bean dip, too. And they are reportedly higher in protein and fiber than other beans. I’ve used white tepary beans in the rosemary spread mentioned above and it was equally delicious.

Christmas Limas. These guys are huge! And just so beautiful! I love them in a salad from the RG cookbook that includes quinoa, beets, onions and feta, among other things.

I like the Mayacoba Beans that were mentioned but my local shop sells a “Peruvian White Bean” that tastes the same to me so I don’t regularly order them from RG but I have tried them and they are good.

The Runner Cannellini Beans are very nice but I seem to have a tendency to overcook them til they start falling apart, which is OK for some things but not always. In addition to those, my pantry usually contains some Vallarta, Flageolet, Borlotti, Yellow Indian Woman, Cranberry and Santa Maria Pinquito beans.

I do like my beans :biggrin:

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EatNopales, I'll let you know what I do and how it turns out at the end of the week. My beans are never fatty, since I defat my stock--whether pork or chicken--before using it. My plan is now to add roasted tomatoes and garlic at the end, along with the chile rojo and salt, for the last ten or fifteen minutes of cooking. In a traditional Tarasca, when is the chile added? Looks like from a variety of pix that a dried chile is added whole. Can't wait to try something new!

Country, you might try the Rebosero beans. I've used them in place of Pintos (when I couldn't get my precious Rattlers.) They are very nice, and might be a good taste test along side RG Pintos and grocery shelf beans.

As far as I know the dried chile (which is what in most of Mexico is called Pasilla but in Michoacan called Negro... because there they call Ancho by the name Pasilla instead which should never be confused with the Oaxacan Pasilla!)... is cut in rings & pan fried then used to garnish on top of the soup but I am sure there is no one way that is more "Traditional" since it is a restaurant dish... and the various restaurant protagonists in Morelia claim that the different approaches are the "right" way to do it.

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I just placed an order with Rancho Gordo and, except for Pintos which I'd get anyhow, based my order on recommendations from the four pages of this thread.

Good Mother Stallard and Christmas Limas got the most recommendations, so I ordered a pound of each.

Runner Cannellini came in next, so a pound of those.

Followed by Mayacoba - one pound.

And, of course, a pound of Pintos.

Also, one each of Mexican oregano and Oregano Indio.

I'm looking forward to getting these. Sort of like a Christmas present to myself.

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I'm looking forward to getting these. Sort of like a Christmas present to myself.

And I'm really looking forward to hearing back what you think.

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I'm looking forward to getting these. Sort of like a Christmas present to myself.

And I'm really looking forward to hearing back what you think.

Thanks, Jaymes. The beans will probably get here late next week and then I'll start trying them. In half pound batches since I only got a pound of each. If anyone has suggestions on what to use each kind for I'd welcome them.

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Thanks, Jaymes. The beans will probably get here late next week and then I'll start trying them. In half pound batches since I only got a pound of each. If anyone has suggestions on what to use each kind for I'd welcome them.

Well, as I said above, even though the Runner Cannellinis are not the same Cannellinis as those often called for in Pasta e Fagioli, they're what we use, and they're just wonderful.

I make it with prosciutto or pancetta, and it's so good on these cold winter days. I'd say it's hard to go wrong.

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Just back from an expedition to my local supermercado and noticed for the first time they are selling peruanos and flor de mayos in bulk. Dunno if I just missed them before, or if selling them in barrels alongside Pintos is a new thing for them.

Anyway, two questions: is there a diference between peruanos and mayacobas, or are they essentially the same bean? How do you like to use them? Would they be good for refritos?

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Just back from an expedition to my local supermercado and noticed for the first time they are selling peruanos and flor de mayos in bulk. Dunno if I just missed them before, or if selling them in barrels alongside Pintos is a new thing for them.

Anyway, two questions: is there a diference between peruanos and mayacobas, or are they essentially the same bean? How do you like to use them? Would they be good for refritos?

Vallarta has been selling them in bulk for over a year.

Both are lovely for refritos and also for "stewed" beans with pork the way they do black beans in the Yucatan.

A Mexican/Guatemalan restaurant/bar here in town serves this dish in mugs at the bar with a stack of sopes. I have been there when some guys at the bar were eating these and have a hot pepper eating contest. Much beer consumed, much joking and laughter.

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