Posts Tagged ‘recipes’
OK, so trailer beans might not sound particularly delicious, but I assure you they are. Why trailer beans? Well, I’m a miser with my propane and this method requires less fuel. Plus, the sight and smell of a pot of cooking beans warmed my trailer on a yet another cold and windy spring day.
And the dish is good for using up leftovers, whether they’re in a tiny Airstream fridge or a residential sized one. Make a big pot for leftovers. They’re even better the second day.
1 1/2 cups dried beans. Any beans will do, but I suggest breaking out of the same old pinto-black-garbanzo-kidney bean same ol’ and try something new. Our friends at Rancho Gordo offer a great line up of fresh heirloom beans that will change the way you think about beans.
1 yellow onion, diced.
1 rib of celery, diced.
1 big carrot, diced.
2 cloves garlic, minced.
Leafy greens (chard, spinach, kale), roughly chopped.
Salt, pepper, dried oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper to taste.
1. Soaking beans is a matter of some controversy. I don’t bother. I toss my beans into a pot with enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil for three minutes. Then I put I lid on it and let it sit for one hour in the hot water. After that I simmer the beans until tender, adding more water as necessary. That’s it.
2. While the beans are cooking, saute the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil, adding a little salt and pepper early on and finishing with the oregano, cumin and cayenne. Set aside.
3. Once the beans are tender, but not too tender, add the saute mixture and simmer some more to marry the ingredients for about 20 minutes. Check seasonings and add more water as necessary. (I had some leftover cooked grassfed ground beef to the beans. Good stuff).
4. Saute greens in olive oil. Add some salt and pepper.
5. Serve beans in a bowl with with greens mixed in. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve.
On my last morning at Pie Ranch I got up early to meet with Jered and gather the ingredients for one of the ranch’s signature pies: strawberry rhubarb. As you can imagine, this involved a lot more than going to the refrigerator. First, we milled the flour. Pie Ranch used to grow an heirloom variety of white flour (Sonora white) before rust blighted the crop. But Jered still has plenty of wheat berries on hand and he mills the wheat in a beautiful, wooden contraption imported from Austria.
After milling the flour, we walked up his strawberry field to pick half a dozen baskets. Do you know how strawberries got their name? To keep weeds down and hold in moisture farmers spread straw mulch around the berries. Now most use plastic. Not quite as picturesque.
After plucking a bunch of berries, we walked up toward the top of the sloping farm to the rhubarb crop. The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous but the tart red stems are a real treat.
The recipe that follows is adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle’s recipe back in 2007 when Janet Fletcher wrote up Pie Ranch. If you can make the trip down to Pie Ranch you can buy some of the Sonora flour, but a good brand of flour like Bob’s Red Mill will do fine, too.
Makes 1 double-crust pie. Serves 8 to 12
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
Approximately 1/3 cup ice water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
3 cups rhubarb stems chopped into half-inch pieces
To make the crust: Put the flour and salt in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until all the pieces are coated with flour and about the size of peas. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Alternatively, you can incorporate the flour and butter by hand: Put the flour and salt in a bowl and stir well to blend. Add the butter and massage it into the flour with your fingers, working until all the butter is flattened into thin, flour-coated flakes. You should not see any large pieces of butter, but don’t over blend the dough or it will be tough. The flakes of butter will produce a flaky pastry.
Add the water gradually, tossing with a fork until all the flour is moistened and the dough begins to come together. Divide the shaggy dough into 2 mounds, one slightly larger than the other. With your hands, gather each mound into a ball, kneading it gently if necessary to help it adhere. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap, then flatten each ball into an evenly thick disk resembling a hamburger patty, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
To make the filling: Just before rolling out the pie dough, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together until well blended in a small bowl. Put the berries and rhubarb in a large bowl and add the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Toss gently but well.
Put the larger disk of dough on a lightly floured surface, or between 2 sheets of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, flatten the disk into a round large enough to fit your pie pan and overhang the pan by about a 1/2 inch. Transfer the round to the pie pan. You may find it easier to transfer if you fold the circle in half first, then place it in the pie pan with the fold in the center and unfold it. Gently press it against the bottom and sides of the pan.
Repeat the rolling procedure with the second disk of dough, flattening it into a circle large enough to cover the pie. Place it over the berries. Fold the overhanging edges of dough under and use your thumb and forefinger to crimp the rim of the dough decoratively, sealing the top and bottom doughs together. With a paring knife, make 6 to 8 slits in the top of the dough to allow air to vent.
Put the pie in the oven and lower the temperature to 375°. Bake until the crust is golden brown and crisp and the filling is bubbly, about 1 hour. Transfer the pie pan to a rack to cool, and cool completely before slicing.