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SpaghettiWestern

Question about dried bean varieties

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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?

Lola's in Santa Rosa also has bulk Mayacoba & Flor de Mayo...

With regards to are they same or different... there are different heirloom varieties of the Canario... in Peru there is the Camanejo & Amarillo varieties... in Mexico there are Mayacobas specifically from Sonora & Canarios from other states.. .there are supposed subtle differences in the color & how long they cook, how thin the skin is... but commercially there is almost no discipline & the various Yellow beans are often intermingled.

The popularity of the term Peruano in Mexico refers to specifically that much of the Canario beans sold out of the Central de Abastos in Mexico City are imported from Peru (Northern Peru is a bean exporting "super power"... the Mexican grown Canarios & Mayacobas are much smaller harvest so the wholesalers in D.F. aren't interested.

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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.

Thanks again. I'll try that. Got notified the beans have been shipped and should be here next Friday.

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So I made my version of Sopa Tarasca last night. The beans were soaked for about 4 or 5 hours first. White onion, a little bit of minced carrot and then garlic was sauteed in bacon fat, then the drained beans were added to coat and 6 or 7 cups of chicken stock. The beans were boiled for 5 minutes, then turned down very low. I added Oregano Indio, fresh thyme and a couple of small dried red chiles, and a bay leaf.

While the beans were cooking I roasted some really nice canned tomatoes from Dirty Girl Produce that I bought at the farmers' market recently. After roasting I mashed the tomatoes up with their juices and a generous amount of chile paste made from New Mexico chiles. I had to add a lot, because for some reason these chiles were very mild. I sauteed another half onion, some garlic, dumped in the tomato chile mix and some salt, warmed it up and set it aside.

After two hours I added some more salt and the chile mixture to the beans, simmered the pot another 15 minutes and considered it done. I forgot to buy any corn tortillas, so I served it with queso fresco, chopped cilantro, crema and a little raw white onion.

Excellent with toppings. I'm sorry my chile wasn't hotter. The Bolita beans were very tasty, but they had more of a potatoey texture than I expected. I think I would have been just as happy using my Rattlers, but I like this technique of adding tomatoes toward the end; it is a different flavor than if the tomato is added at the beginning with the broth.

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It sounds perfect, Katie.

I have copied it and plan to try it with a medley of beans (small amounts of several varieties remaining after measuring out major portions for other dishes).

The local Mexican supermarkets carry a variety of fresh peppers all year long but they do vary so much in degree of heat that I have to consult with one of the produce people on how hot they actually are.

This week is really busy for me and then I will be away so this dish will probably have to wait until the new year unless I fix it while visiting my daughter and family.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The local Mexican supermarkets carry a variety of fresh peppers all year long but they do vary so much in degree of heat that I have to consult with one of the produce people on how hot they actually are.

Andie, my chile paste was rojo, made from dried New Mexico chiles that I prepared a la Rick Bayless. If you get some decent hot chiles you can make a lot of red chile paste and freeze it in small amounts. When I lived in NM that was the staple during winter and spring when fresh green chiles were not available, and it was very typical to add it to beans or posole at the end, often just serving it separately so people could add it to taste, which was good, because it was really fiery. In those days I'm guessing they were dried hatch chiles. But these chiles I used were absurdly mild, not typical for NM dried chiles. I've had better luck using a mix of dried pasillas and guajillos which are sold in bulk at Mi Pueblo. Different flavor, though.

I'm sure beans for the new year is a tradition somewhere. I'm looking forward to trying the Mayacobas next.

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The local Mexican supermarkets carry a variety of fresh peppers all year long but they do vary so much in degree of heat that I have to consult with one of the produce people on how hot they actually are.

Andie, my chile paste was rojo, made from dried New Mexico chiles that I prepared a la Rick Bayless. If you get some decent hot chiles you can make a lot of red chile paste and freeze it in small amounts. When I lived in NM that was the staple during winter and spring when fresh green chiles were not available, and it was very typical to add it to beans or posole at the end, often just serving it separately so people could add it to taste, which was good, because it was really fiery. In those days I'm guessing they were dried hatch chiles. But these chiles I used were absurdly mild, not typical for NM dried chiles. I've had better luck using a mix of dried pasillas and guajillos which are sold in bulk at Mi Pueblo. Different flavor, though.

I'm sure beans for the new year is a tradition somewhere. I'm looking forward to trying the Mayacobas next.

I was born and raised where "Hoppin' John" made with black eye "peas" aka "black eye field beans" was served on New Year's Day. A shiny new dime was stirred into the beans before serving and whoever got the dime was "guaranteed" good luck in the new year.

My dad was home for the holidays in 1944 and got the dime. In March his plane was hit and he ditched in the English Channel and in less than fifteen minutes was picked up by a fishing boat, had no injuries. He wrote home that he had gotten the full year of good luck in a single night!


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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My dad was home for the holidays in 1944 and got the dime. In March his plane was hit and he ditched in the English Channel and in less than fifteen minutes was picked up by a fishing boat, had no injuries. He wrote home that he had gotten the full year of good luck in a single night!

I realize this has nothing directly to do with the topic at hand but I had to pop in and say that that is an awesome story. Glad the dime did it's job!


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Yes, great story. At least with this southern tradition you are on alert for the metal in your mouthful. One new years day a zillion years ago my family was in the the Yucatan and we were served venison. I got the buckshot and broke a tooth. The rest of the day is a blur.

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Query for rancho gordo. The beans have now arrived (and look amazing - I can't wait to try them). I was interested to note on the accompanying card that you recommend soaking the beans. Does that mean you don't believe in Russ Parsons' no-soak method? Or simply that this is a viable alternative?

I've had plenty of luck using his method with supermarket beans, but I don't want to waste these ones if soaking is a must.

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We're all infidels here when it comes to cooking beans. I do everything from pressure cooker to cooking in clay pots. Most people who work here start as soakers and end up never soaking and just going ahead and cooking. Beans are very forgiving.

Re the Parsons method, I've done it and they've come out great. I did it once and it didn't work on beans I know for a fact were fresh and I tend not to trust it anymore, although I know it's kind of silly. I also think clean up is much harder if you bake the beans in a lecruset in the oven.

I do soak if I think about it and my preferred method is in clay. But there are no absolutes with beans.

I'm afraid this is kind of a non-answer, isn't it?


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Speaking just for myself, I'm a big fan of RG beans, and never soak. Not that I have anything against it, but it does require advance planning, doesn't it?

As opposed to looking out of the window around noon and seeing gray skies and a cold blustery rain and thinking to oneself, "My what a good day for a pot of beans" and then putting some on the fire.

Much more my speed.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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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.

Well, the Rancho Gordo beans (and oregano) arrived last Friday. The Good Mother Stollard and the Christmas limas are beautiful beans.

But.... Tonight I cooked half a pound of the Pintos for refried's using the same recipe I've used for years. I have to say the Pintos I get from the local coop are at least as good, and most of the time better. Pretty disappointing to pay $5.50/pound, plus shipping, for these.

The Mexican oregano is good though, and I hope the other beans I got will be better than the Pintos.

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... Also, some beans, like kidney beans, are canned with sugar and have a distinctly sweet flavor

Perhaps you're painting a generalization with too broad a brush. There are brands of beans packed without sugar, such as Eden organics, and I believe Trader Joe's have no sugar as well. There are only a few brands that I buy, and to the best of my recollection, none contain sugar.

I'd like to mention that, here in Phoenix, many ethnic markets, most notably the Hispanic ones, carry fresh raw garbanzo beans in the pod. They just get popped out of the pod and cooked briefly. They are green in color and very tasty with more of a green vegetable flavor to them.

A couple of years ago I discovered fresh, raw garbanzos. They're sold in the various farmers' markets here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they sure are a treat. Highly recommended - great in salads.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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Was in San Fran week before last, found the Rancho Gordo stall at the Saturday Ferry Building farmer's market. Bought a pound of the Rio Zapes for $5.50 (ouch!) and wondered if they would be worth it.....cooked 'em simply with browned onion, a fleck of bacon grease, some epazote, salt & a tiny bit of ancho chili powder. WOW! What a fantastic flavor; subtle and nuanced. I'm from a bean-eating part of the world, and I grew up on field peas, blackeyes, speckled butter beans, red, white, baby green limas, etc. Still grow my own pinkeye purplehulls. But I'll be buying the Rio Zapes again.

(edited for spelling)


Edited by HungryC (log)

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Well, the Rancho Gordo beans (and oregano) arrived last Friday. The Good Mother Stollard and the Christmas limas are beautiful beans.

But.... Tonight I cooked half a pound of the Pintos for refried's using the same recipe I've used for years. I have to say the Pintos I get from the local coop are at least as good, and most of the time better. Pretty disappointing to pay $5.50/pound, plus shipping, for these.

Interesting. I got pintos and Good Mother Stollards as well, and the pintos were the first ones I tried - just so I could have something to compare with supermarket beans.

I didn't refry - I used the no-soak method, with a small amount of aromatics halfway through (the last of this year's sage, a bay leaf, and a couple crushed garlic cloves).

And I found them delicious... but better than the supermarket beans? I'm not so sure.

Will try the Stollards next and report back.

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Well, the Rancho Gordo beans (and oregano) arrived last Friday. The Good Mother Stollard and the Christmas limas are beautiful beans.

But.... Tonight I cooked half a pound of the Pintos for refried's using the same recipe I've used for years. I have to say the Pintos I get from the local coop are at least as good, and most of the time better. Pretty disappointing to pay $5.50/pound, plus shipping, for these.

Interesting. I got pintos and Good Mother Stollards as well, and the pintos were the first ones I tried - just so I could have something to compare with supermarket beans.

I didn't refry - I used the no-soak method, with a small amount of aromatics halfway through (the last of this year's sage, a bay leaf, and a couple crushed garlic cloves).

And I found them delicious... but better than the supermarket beans? I'm not so sure.

Will try the Stollards next and report back.

I've been getting my dry beans from the local coop for years so I can't compare the Rancho Gordo beans with ones from a supermarket, but the RG pintos weren't as good as what I've been getting from the coop. They were bland in comparison - including after cooking and before refry. If the beans are really good I usually don't refry them all, but save some just to eat plain. As before, the RG pintos were pretty bland, and the "liquor" wasn't as dark or as good as coop beans.

The coop sells their beans in bulk bins and I'm going there this afternoon. If whoever does the bean buying is there I'll find out more about where the beans come from and how old they are.

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I have to say, Country, that although I'm sorry you were disappointed, I really admire you for giving it a go. Honestly, that's all anyone can ever ask: just to try something before you make up your mind. I hope you have better luck with the other varieties you ordered.

But am pleased that you like the oregano.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Well, the Rancho Gordo beans (and oregano) arrived last Friday. The Good Mother Stollard and the Christmas limas are beautiful beans.

But.... Tonight I cooked half a pound of the Pintos for refried's using the same recipe I've used for years. I have to say the Pintos I get from the local coop are at least as good, and most of the time better. Pretty disappointing to pay $5.50/pound, plus shipping, for these.

Interesting. I got pintos and Good Mother Stollards as well, and the pintos were the first ones I tried - just so I could have something to compare with supermarket beans.

I didn't refry - I used the no-soak method, with a small amount of aromatics halfway through (the last of this year's sage, a bay leaf, and a couple crushed garlic cloves).

And I found them delicious... but better than the supermarket beans? I'm not so sure.

Will try the Stollards next and report back.

I've been getting my dry beans from the local coop for years so I can't compare the Rancho Gordo beans with ones from a supermarket, but the RG pintos weren't as good as what I've been getting from the coop. They were bland in comparison - including after cooking and before refry. If the beans are really good I usually don't refry them all, but save some just to eat plain. As before, the RG pintos were pretty bland, and the "liquor" wasn't as dark or as good as coop beans.

The coop sells their beans in bulk bins and I'm going there this afternoon. If whoever does the bean buying is there I'll find out more about where the beans come from and how old they are.

I went to the coop (Rising Tide) and they get the beans from Pacific Grain & Foods in Fresno, CA. Pretty impressive distributor with a lot of beans on this list. While they don't have all the interesting beans Rancho Gordo carries I noticed they do have Christmas limas.

Karen, who works at the coop, is going to try to find out more and let me know if she does. I know that all the beans I've gotten at the coop were good, and it's interesting to note that the coop's price on pintos is $1.69. :smile:

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I have to say, Country, that although I'm sorry you were disappointed, I really admire you for giving it a go. Honestly, that's all anyone can ever ask: just to try something before you make up your mind. I hope you have better luck with the other varieties you ordered.

But am pleased that you like the oregano.

Jaymes, The way everyone here has raved about Rancho Gordo I thought I should give them a try, and at least the pintos weren't anything special. I'll see what the others are like. I'm going to try your suggestion of Pasta e Fagioli with the runner Cannellinis and see what they're like. Looking at the Pacific Grain & Food bean list, it looks like they're really a white kidney bean. Or maybe I missed that at the RG site.

Yes, I really like the oregano. Haven't tried the Oregano Indio yet. Any ideas on where to use it? And a favorite recipe for Pasta e Fagioli? I've never made it.

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The amusing thing is that Pacific Grain & Foods is likely buying the RG leftovers. I wonder how much price sensitivity factors in whether the beans are liked or not?

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... I wonder how much price sensitivity factors in whether the beans are liked or not?

For $7.90 a pound (including shipping) I should have liked those pintos better than any I've ever had. They should have been as good as the ones I grew years ago - and I was expecting them to be that good. As it turned out they're not even as good as the $1.69/pound pintos at the local coop. :sad:

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Yes, I really like the oregano. Haven't tried the Oregano Indio yet. Any ideas on where to use it?

And a favorite recipe for Pasta e Fagioli? I've never made it.

I use that Oregano Indio in a lot of things. Put a sprinkle of it into a pot of southern-style green beans for Christmas Dinner (and Thanksgiving, too, BTW), and it really added a flavorful touch. I'd say that the only important thing to remember is that it's really strong, so don't use too much.

As for the Pasta e Fagioli, I've tried to delineate what I do. It's really "by the seat of my pants" cooking, and I've been making this long enough that I don't measure anything, so all measurements are approximate. Use your own judgment.

And also, I know this "recipe" is pretty wordy and convoluted so at first glance it might seem complicated. It's not. It's really easy. In fact, if we're hungry and in a hurry, I use canned beans (2 15-oz cans cannellini beans), and it's ready in about a half-hour. It's a big family favorite, so hope you try it, and like it.

Pasta e Fagioli

Start with about 1 cup of dried white kidney beans. Cannellini beans are the classic, but you can use anything. As I said above, we use RG’s runner cannellinis.

In a large stew pot or Dutch oven, set the washed and picked-over beans to cook in about 1 qt flavorful chicken broth, along with 2 large cloves garlic, mashed and chopped. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat; then cover tightly and simmer slowly until they’re just barely tender. If they dry out before they're done, add a little more hot water/chicken broth/liquid, as needed. Monitor them very carefully, to be certain that you do not overcook them. You're going to add more ingredients later on and cook them some more and you don’t want them disintegrating into mush, so this is important.

While beans are cooking, prepare your seasonings.

Start with about as much good-quality, imported pancetta as you can afford. Try for at least ¼ pound. ½ pound is better. More than that is even more wonderful. If you’ve purchased it in a chunk, then chop it into medium-small dice. If you’ve bought slices, then julienne them.

Put chopped pancetta into a skillet along with a couple tablespoons good, flavorful olive oil, 1 white or yellow onion chopped, 1 carrot peeled and chopped, 1 rib celery chopped, 2 more large cloves of garlic mashed and minced, 2 bay leaves, and about a tablespoon each of fresh rosemary and thyme. Saute until onions are clear and carrots and celery are tender and the whole thing looks “done.”

About 2/3rds of the way through the bean cooking time, add your seasonings to the bean pot. It takes about an average of 1 ½ hours for RG’s beans to get tender, so I add the seasonings at about the hour point. Stir in the seasonings, cover the bean pot and continue to let them simmer until just barely tender.

When the beans are just barely tender, add about 1 cup tomatoes. You can use chopped fresh tomatoes, or canned diced or crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce. I’ve used left-over marinara, and it was great.

Give the pot a stir, and then turn heat to high. Add 2 cups more liquid – water or chicken broth. At this point, taste for salt, and add some if needed. When soup is boiling, add 1 ½ cups dry pasta. You can use small shells, elbow macaroni, ditalini, etc.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer briskly until pasta is al dente. Adjust seasonings. We like crushed red pepper, so we add that, along with black pepper.

Ladle soup into individual soup bowls and top with grated parmesan or Romano or whatever you like. Serve with crusty bread.

I've just tried to think back over what I do, so hope I haven't forgotten anything.

Good luck!

And remember there are lots of recipes around for this famous and wonderful soup, so if this doesn't sound appealing, or doesn't "work right," don't give up. Keep trying until you find a recipe you love. It will be so rewarding for you and your family to have a good "pasta e fagioli" in your repertoire.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Making the Good Mother Stollards tonight. They smell really nice already. I've added sage, curry leaves, a bit of chopped poblano, a bay leaf and a smashed clove of garlic.

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Living in New Mexico for a number of years during the late sixties and early seventies I've eaten my share of pinto beans. I did not become a big fan of beans then. It's only been the last few years that I branched out and began trying other types of beans and discovered how different they all are in flavor, texture, depth of pot liquor, etc.

It's been so long since I had pintos from NM that I really don't remember what they were like. I have tried RG's pintos and found them a bit bland and typical of most pintos in that they don't hold their shape very well and tend to melt; great for refritos I suppose.

What I always wanted from a pinto I discovered in rattlesnakes, which I am lead to believe is a cousin of the pinto. The only place I have found to buy good ones is Purcell Mountain Farms. I would suggest that anyone looking for a pinto-like bean with deeper flavor and firmer texture try them. If RG ever goes into the rattler business, I'm so there. Any dish you can call 'Snakes in a Pot can't be bad, and they don't taste like chicken.

The Good Mother Stallard beans are my favorites of all Steve's inventory (of the ones I have tried so far, anyway.)

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