Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bean Journal, June 27

OK, I've decided that the Pinto is to beans what the swing is to kettlebells!  So underrated!

Now that I'm tasting, really tasting, all these beans I'm convinced that so few of them stand on their own.  It makes sense that we put a "smoked" piece of meat in our bean soups, and why so few varieties are available at our supermarkets.  Because, although, maybe, nutritious (I'm still wondering just how nutritious), so far, and that's not very far, I'm a little un-impressed with the nuances, but now understand that the flavor categories have been decided by varieties most commonly available.  Back to the under-rated Pinto.

It may be my Mexican roots, but Pinto beans rock!  I ordered pintos from Rancho Gordo with the idea of comparing their "gourmet", "heirloom", "home grown", "organic", "whatever" high class bean to my own "Mi Pueblo's" ordinary, maybe under ordinary, super marker brand....but alas, I didn't have any supermarket pintos to compare.  So I cooked up Rancho Gordo's batch thinking I would remember what "ordinary" supermarket pintos tasted like.....I was right!

Even without my supermarket "Western Family" cheap $.99 a bag of pintos I could taste the difference.  Seriously.  RG's pintos brought me back, maybe back to somewhere I've never been before, but these pinto beans touched something deep inside of my tastebud memory banks.  At this point I'm not sure I even want to continue to collect more varieties for tasting.  If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Pintos rock.  Did I say that already?  OK, there are many other beans that are "off the hook" too, and I wouldn't want to live without.  Those Italian butter beans?  Crazy good!  Garbanzos?  Crazy good!  White navy beans...seriously crazy good.  But all these others?  fine. maybe crazy good, but at the end of the day?

I'll keep experimenting because it's fun!  But in the mean time I'm going to give Pinto beans more respect!

As far as the black garbanzos....

Small, hard, took forever to cook, BUT interesting none the less.  I made some bean dip, but I had to experiment with ingredients I had on hand.  At first these beans were a big disappointment.  Expensive and appearing to be nothing special.  Not wanting to make hummus, I still took my cues from hummus.  Beans, garlic. olive oil, nut or seed butter, lemon.  Which is pretty much exactly what I did.  Not quite right.  If I would have thought of it I would have used the green tops of the scallions in the fridge for a "freshness" factor, but I forgot.  I was wanting a fresh jalapeno or green chili....or parsley.

What I liked about the finished product was the black skin ended up speckeling the dip, making it look like it had small black sesame seeds in it.  When I was putting it away I looked over on my kitchen counter and noticed a Japanese sweet potato!  Hmmnn...roasted sweet potato, black garbanzos, green scallions. garlic. jalapeno, nut butter....could be a "win"!  Next time!


Jestess said...

Black Turtle Beans - are they the same as Black Garbanzo?
I use black beans for baking delicious, gluten, dairy and sugar free chocolate berry cake :)
Have you tried using beans for sweet recipes?
Also great to use in smoothies instead of protein powder.

Diana said...

I found a container in the freezer today of your turkey/jalapeno soup recipe that I made a while ago. I remember making this batch and because I didn't have any black beans at the time, I threw in some pinto beans! Tastes great and a nice addition to the soup!

Kimberly said...

Rancho Gordo rocks! Best cannellini beans (and all their other varieties) on the planet.

guy said...

Yeah Pinto beans not only rock, but to me they are a comfort food in winter time, or while camping.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I've thought about using beans in smoothies for texture (thickness) but have yet to follow through.

The black garbanzos are a completely different bean, more so than any other I've used so far. Although interesting I can't see them making a regular appearance in my life! Unless I can find them in an ethnic store really inexpensively,

Over the past 6 years I'm always looking for recipes that incorporate "savory" ingredidnts into "sweets"! Bean pies are sold at my Farmers Market, and the black bean browine recipe on 101 Cookbooks blog is really popular.

Too many food choices...high quality problem!

Thank you for commenting!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I can't believe I've not bought jalapenos in forever? What the hell have I been doing? They used to be a staple.

I've been making stews more than soups...maybe that's why? Oh, and I didn't make many batches of chili this past year.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm trying not to be a "bean hoarder"! I ordered 5 bags of beans, that equals out to at least 10-12 meals big enough for a family, and of course I have a ton of other beans I bought at the FM!

But I do have a short list of others I want to try, the cannellini beans are on that list!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Camping? yuck. Try Ranch Gordos pintos and let me know what you think.