Tag Archives: Rancho Gordo

Venetian Bean Soup a la Rancho Gordo

After receiving 3 bags of the famous Rancho Gordo beans from Dave for Valentine’s, I had to search out a recipe that was worthy of one of the bags. Continue reading

This is Love.

I hope that y’all enjoyed your Valentine’s Weekend.  Wasn’t it nice having Valentine’s fall on a Saturday?  I thought it was perfect.  Dave and I went for an early grocery shopping run with Brian and Julia, then I came home and made these scones that I knew I had to try as soon as I saw the recipe on “Eggs on Sunday”. 

We then spent the day doing our laundry, helping a friend roll out pasta dough for his Valentine’s dinner and spending time with each other.   I also got to open the presents that Dave has been wanting to give me all week (they came in the mail and the boxes were just sitting in the living room).

It has been pretty fun telling people that Dave got me beans for Valentine’s. Yes beans. But he knows me too well because I have been eyeing Rancho Gordo from afar, and I finally get to see what all the fuss is about!

They are beautiful looking beans, especially the Ayocote Morado which are a deep purple. It will be lots of fun researching creative ways to use them! Any suggestions?

Dave also got me the SATC movie dvd which we promptly watched on Saturday night (he really loves me) and a yoga block after he watched me struggle to do extended side angle using Lucy’s scratching incline for balance. I couldn’t think of anything that Dave needed (or even anything he really wanted) so I decided to make him his favorite dessert. Key Lime Pie.

Key lime pie has never been one of my favorites. It isn’t that I don’t like the taste, I do, I just would never go out of my way to order it at a restaurant or have a slice if there is something chocolate or berry-filled around. After searching around the internet for a good recipe, I decided to pull out my The New Best Recipe book and low and behold, they had scientifically tested recipes for the “best” key lime pie.

I will admit that this was a pretty tasty dessert, and I have enjoyed 2 slices from the plate throughly. Dave also gave it his stamp of approval and he has eaten ALOT of key lime pie.

Key Lime Pie
From: The Best New Recipe Book p.909

Lime Filling
4 teaspoons grated zest and 1/2 cup strained juice from 3 or 4 limes (don’t bother measuring, I didn’t)
4 large egg yolks (save the whites for an omelet!)
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Graham Cracker Crust
9 graham crackers (5oz) broken into rough pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and kept warm

Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup (1 oz) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 lime, sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional, but its pretty)

For the filling: Whisk the zest and yolks in a medium nonreactive bowl until tinted light green, 2 mins. Beat in the condensed milk, then the juice; set aside at room temp to thicken (about 30 mins).

For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, process the graham crackers until evenly fine, about 30 secs (should have 1 cup of crumbs). Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding the warm melted butter in a steady stream; pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer crumbs to a 9 inch glass pie plate and press on the bottom and the sides to form a crust. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 mins; transfer to a wire rank and cool completely.

Pour the lime filling into the crust; bake until the center is set yet wiggly when jiggled. [isn’t that a great description?], 15 to 17 mins. Return the pie to a wire rack; cool to room temp, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.

For the topping: Whip the cream in a chilled bowl of an electric mixer to very soft peaks. Adding the confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream evenly with a rubber spatula. Garnish with sugared limes slices. Serve to the ones your love.

13 Beans

Over the past few months I have wanted to place an order with Rancho Gordo (and buy his book) for some interesting heirloom beans. I did appreciate the quality of the fresh black beans that I was able to purchase this summer at GreenCity, so I have been wondering if they are worth the premium (and the shipping cost). I think I will decide on a few varieties to try in the next few weeks. Anyone try them out or have an suggestions on which of the many tempting varieties I should try? For now, I was just tempted by a bag of 13 Bean Soup that I found at my trusty Treasure Island. Aren’t all the colors wonderful?


The beans do take a little planning because they need to be soaked over night but the result is wonderful. Warm, hearty, soothing. Perfect for a cold winter weekend. I didn’t get a good picture of the final product, but believe me, it is worth trying. Mine turned out a little thick, so I would not really call it soup, it was more like a thicker stew or veggie chili.

13 Bean Veggie Chili
Recipe adapted from the Bob’s Red Mill Bag

2 Cups of 13 Bean Soup Mix
1 Ham Hock
1 Medium onion; chopped
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used Hunt’s Fire Roasted diced w/Garlic)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Aleppo Chili Peppers (optional, I thew some in since I have them; crushed red pepper flakes would also work for some spice)
2-3 Cloves of garlic; minced

Wash and soak the 2 cups of beans overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse and bring 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water to boil in a large dutch oven or pot. Add the beans and ham hock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.

Add chopped onion, tomatoes, spices and garlic. Simmer for 30 mins. (Be careful towards the end because it will thicken and I did burn a little of the bottom of mine).

Serve in a bowl with a hunk of crusty bread. Would also be good over white rice.