Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima Beans

Despite wanting to write,  it seems neither of us has.   Sometimes it takes a while for the flavors of a fine dish to develop.  I am hoping that this is the case with our blog.   Mike is adding short comments about our food experiments to his Facebook page.  We’ve been talking about our food and drink experiments to one another and friends.   So  it seems that my part of this effort may be to take his FB posts and our conversations, refine them them, and turn them into blog entries.   Perhaps this is part of the discipline of turning me into a slower and more thoughtful individual.

Last fall we were introduced to Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans through their blog.  We’ve been interested in the heirloom phenomenon,  primarily because so many of the fruits and vegetables we were getting in the large chain stores have so little flavor.

On Sunday, in honor of the season, we cooked the Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima beans.   Mike is an advocate of top of the stove, long and slow cooking.  If I had been cooking them, I would have used the crockpot.  However, he cooked and  the beans were wonderful.  They are meatier and tastier than plain old Lima beans and have a wonderful dark chestnut color,  though before they were cooked they were mottled light and chestnut colored.   While some think they also have a chestnutty flavor,  neither of us tasted that when they were freshly cooked.  This morning I tried a few cold and discovered that there is an almost chestnutty taste and the texture is  that firm but soft texture you get when you bite into a freshly roasted chestnut.

Last night for dinner Mike made a variation of the Rancho Gordo Christmas Limas for Christmas. It was the second day of Christmas, but still in the season.  We didn’t have several of the ingredients for Steve Sando’s (owner of Rancho Gordo) recipe, but had some substitutions that could come close. So Mike modified it.  Instead of pancetta, he used left over honey-baked ham.  A wonderful, but slightly-past-its-prime Spanish blue cheese was substituted for the Gorgonzola.  Mike also went heavy on the garlic and onions.  It was still GREAT!  The next time we’ll cook the sauce a little longer to have an even more intense flavor of a reduction sauce.  However, using rye bread to sop up the sauce was quite enjoyable and left us happily full.

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