Tag Archives: Cinco de Mayo

recipe goodness :: how to cook dried beans in the rancho gordo manner

Homemade Black Beans

Homemade Black Beans

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never made dried beans before. People always speak the praises of dried beans — so much more flavor! More economical! But when a can of garbanzos or cannellinis only costs about $1.00 and the only real work required is the pull out the can opener, sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself that the old fashioned method is better when it comes to beans.

Well, I’m a convert. In keeping with my Rancho Gordo Cinco de Mayo fiesta, I decided to make a side of black beans the low and slow way. It’s no longer just about the beans — it’s about all the other things you toss in the pot and let the beans soak up in the process. The result was a depth of flavor and richness that had me convinced I put chocolate in my beans — even though I very well knew I didn’t. If you’re taking the time to make beans a featured side, and can throw a pot on the stove while you go vacuum the house, I recommend giving this method a try — use it for any type of bean your heart desires {they’re good for the ♥ after all!} Save the cans for days you’re in a time crunch.

Cooking Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

Serves 2-3 | Soak 4-6 hours | Cook 1-3 hours

1 cup of dried beans {black, pinto, cannellini, love Rancho Gordos!}
2 garlic cloves or spring garlic stems, finely diced
2 scallions, finely diced
2 small carrots, finely diced
2 small celery stalks, finely diced
1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth
water
salt to taste
Other optional seasonings: beer, bay leaves, rosemary {white beans love}, ham bones, smoked turkey legs, bacon.

  1. Rinse beans in cool, fresh water. Cover beans with 2 inches of water and soak 4-6 hours {or overnight before bed}
  2. In a large pot, saute finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  3. Add drained beans, stock and cover by at least 1 inch of water.
  4. Bring to a hard boil for five minutes and then reduce to a gentle simmer, cooking 1-3 hours until tender.
  5. Once soft, add salt and enjoy!
  6. Tip from Rancho: do not add acids {tomatoes, vinegar} or sugar until the beans are just tender, as they can toughen the beans.

More Ways to Celebrate All Things Mexican:
Ancho Chili Margarita with Fresh Lime-Orange-Grapefruit Juice
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Extra Extra! Oaxaca Revolucion de Taco

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recipe goodness :: celebrate cinco de mayo with rancho gordo’s posole rojo!

Rancho Gordo Mexican Posole

Rancho Gordo Mexican Posole

There are more ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with a cold corona and a basket of tortilla chips. After working with the infamous Rancho Gordo owner, Steve Sando, to put together a special Cinco de Mayo deal for the Food52 Shop, I was intrigued by his suggestion to provide people with the makings for a very traditional mexican dish called posole. Has anyone ever seen posole on their local mexican restaurant’s menu? I didn’t think so. The best way to describe it is a cross between a tortilla soup and a mexican chili — only so much better. And if you’re not yet familiar with Rancho Gordo either, get to know this quirky and awesome purveyor of heirloom beans and other specialty products that will knock your sombrero off.

Posole’s core ingredient is hominy, which are dried maize kernels that look like corn on steroids {buy Rancho’s dried  hominy, not the canned gummy stuff you’ll find at the corner bodega}. Layer in his smokey chili powder from New Mexico, fragrant oregano so special that Thomas Keller uses it at Per Se and French Laundry, some shredded chicken and broth,  a whole lot of onions and garlic and you’re on your way to a bowl of festive bueno-ness. BUENO.

There’s no reason Cinco de Mayo can’t be celebrated any day of the week. And if you’re trying this for the first time, you might as well get your hands on Rancho’s special deal for  heirloom bean and the posole goods and get stewin’. Ole!

Hominy Hominy Hominy!

Hominy Hominy Hominy! Say it three times for luck

Oregano Indigo and New Mexican Chili Powder

Oregano Indigo and New Mexican Chili Powder

Rancho Gordo Posole Rojo

Serves 8 | 6-10 hour soak time | 5 hour cook time

1.5 cups uncooked hominy (will become ~5-6 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped fine
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup tomato paste {I used a whole 6oz can}
3 tablespoons Rancho Gordo Chili Powder {yum!}
1 tablespoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio {yum yum!}
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Posole {hominy}
1.5-2 lbs shredded poached chicken
salt and pepper
Garnishes: diced avocado, chopped cilantro, finely chopped onion, queso fresco, thinly sliced radishes, sour cream

  1. Sort and rise posole. Soak 6-10 hours in cold water {put it in a pot before bed and you’re good to go the next day}.
  2. Strain and in a large pot, add the soaked posole, 3-4 quarts of water, and a roughly chopped onion.
  3. Bring to a hard boil for about five minutes, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer for about 3-4 hours. Check around 2-3 hours to make sure enough liquid is still in the pot and add more if needed so pot is not dry. Posole will flower, like popcorn when it’s finished.
  4. Strain and set aside.
  5. Fill a pot large enough to fit chicken breasts in with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add chicken breasts and poach for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in 5-quart or larger pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomato paste, chili powder and oregano, stirring until all ingredients are warmed through and well-mixed.
  7. Add 4 cups water, broth and posole. Freeze any extra posole leftover after roughly measuring.
  8. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour. Shred the chicken and set aside.
  9. Once the liquid has cooked down a bit, add chicken, stir and then add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve in individual bowls and garnish as desired.
Simmer 'til done

Simmer ’til done.

More Ways to Celebrate All Things Mexican:
Ancho Chili Margarita with Fresh Lime-Orange-Grapefruit Juice
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Extra Extra! Oaxaca Revolucion de Taco

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Cinco de Mayo: A Day to Celebrate Mexican Pride {and Drink}

The Fixins' for Fresh Lime Margaritas

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican independence, but rather a day to celebrate Mexican pride and heritage. What better way than with a mariachi band and margarita. If you’re going all out and planning to have a party on your rooftop, then this is a recipe you definitely want to impress your guests with. Good grapefruit is still available at the store and, in my opinion, is a necessary component to a ‘rita rockin’ the citrus blend. Please oh please don’t buy the pre-made mix. If you’re going to make our Mexican compadres proud, get out your juicer and put a little squeeze into your spirits. Don’t be afraid, this is not that spicy, but the chili adds a depth to the drink that cuts through all that citrus and makes it truly tasty. By the way, did you know margarita means daisy in spanish? Doesn’t that just sound like a delightful name for a killer cocktail?

Ancho Chili Margarita with Fresh Lime-Orange-Grapefruit Juice

Recipe:
2 0z tequila
2 oz mixed juice {lime, orange, grapefruit, agave}
ice
kosher salt and lime slice for rim

What you Need {See below for proportions}:
1 Bottle Tequila Blanco {I find the white tequila is smoother}
1 Dried Ancho Chili
Raw Agave
Limes
Oranges
Grapefruits

Fresh Squeezed Lime, Orange, Grapefruit

People experiment with the proportions of tequila to lime juice all the time, so it’s just a matter of personal taste.  Since my recipe uses fresh squeezed juice and a little raw agave for sweetness, you don’t need to add any triple sec or cointreau. And because of the fresh juice, I like to make this one with a 1:1 proportion of tequila to fruit juice. Here’s what you can expect to get from all that squeezing {approximately}.

8 limes=8 ounces
4 juice oranges=8 ounces
1 grapefruit=7 ounces

Figure out how many total drinks you plan on making. You need 2 oz of tequila and 2 oz of juice for every drink, so multiply that to know how much you need in total of both. Here’s an example to figure out how much of everything you need to make 3 drinks for 4 people. Adjust to fit your crew!

  1. 2 hours before you plan to serve the margaritas, add one dried ancho chili to the bottle of tequila. Note: the longer this soaks, the less spicy it will get as the pepper actually breaks down in the tequila. If you don’t plan on using an entire bottle, you may want to pour the tequila over the pepper in a separate container and watch it turn a cool red hue!
  2. Juice all of your limes, oranges and grapefruits into a separate container. Add 1 tsp of agave for every 8oz of total fresh fruit juice.  Mix thoroughly and chill. Keep a few lime halves to run across the top of your glasses later to make the salt stick.
  3. Ready to drink? Run a leftover lime half around the rim of a chilled glass. Pour some kosher salt on a plate and dip the rim in the salt if desired. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. You can either use a cocktail shaker or just mix equal parts tequila and fresh fruit juice in a pitcher and pour over ice in each glass.
  5. Stir, sip, enjoy, repeat.

What’s A Cinco de Mayo Party Without Salsa?!:
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa

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