Monday, September 26, 2011

How You Bean?! Dove Creek, Colorado Rocks!

A little while back I talked about how to cook basic beans from scratch and gave a picture by picture tutorial on the whole process Here.  I'm kicking off a bean week today, since I'm teaching a Bean class tomorrow morning at Honeyville Farms in Chandler at 10 AM. 

Today we're kicking it up to the next bean level. I'm going to show you some of my favorite beans. I don't think we can do all of them today...but this will give you some amazing ideas for new varieties and some great food to make with them! Are we ready? I want to start by saying that I LOVE the people in Dove Creek , Colorado who are largely responsible for the beans you're going to see today. I have been told that Dove Creek is in fact the "Pinto Bean Capital of the World". They have so many beans there that are such awesome quality, that I'm told they even use them in cookies and ice cream sauce! Wow! Now that's bean-tastic!  I don't work for them and they didn't even send me these beans...but I adore them! Smooches!

 Moki Bean Soup Mix is one of my favorite combinations of beans from Dove Creek. It's chuck full of the indescribably good variety. I'll break down a few just for fun.
 It has such an amazing variety of beans and includes my favorite (and I added some of the Zuni Gold and Mortgage Lifters to this mix for you too see...)
 I just said Mortgage Lifter huh? I mentioned them to my sister Auntie Em and she said, "What a cool name for a bean!" I have to agree. The kicker on these bad boys... the size!
 Here is a Mortgage Lifter next to a large Lima bean  to give you a comparison in the girth of this little monster. Ironically...they're also too big to stick up your nose. So...maybe that's a product perk.
 I had to tell my husband about ten times that they were not, in fact, Jordan Almonds...they're that big! They are Aztec or Pueblo beans of an heirloom variety. The story goes that a farmer was about to lose his farm, but had such a great crop of these beans that he named them the "Mortgage lifter". Seriously!
 Cooked they taste very similar to a navy bean or white bean...but they are a giant version and full of flavor! They have a creamy buttery texture and are absolutely outstanding! 
 I mean really! Look at them! The size of my thumb! I'm so excited to use them in a French white bean soup and some with Italian Pesto and feta. They're gorgeous!
 You can order them  from Kokopelli's Kitchen online for around 7$ a pound Here. Or, they have them a lot less expensive (around 2.50$ a pound) at the Honeyville store. Look at the
Mortgage Lifters, Large Lima beans and small Lima beans all in a row. There. Now you can see what I'm saying.
 Here's a classic black eyed pea. Before the rock band...there was the bean. So yes, for all of you musical geeks-o-glory. Tune your brains on this one. Elvis loved them. They're just classic.
 Here are my favorite loves. Anasazi beans because well...they look like a hot biker with tats. There. I said it.  You can get them here
 Dried Black Beans are a staple in southwest cooking, but also ones that I use for a spicy peanut oriental  bean topping. It's incredible!

Okay, now two really cool additions. Bolita beans. They are actually a nice bean with a much richer flavor than a pinto. They also tend to absorb flavor very very well! They're perfect for Polynesian Style Sweet and Sour Beans
 Bolita Beans are a beautiful pinkish golden color...almost salmon. I have to thank one of my dear friends named Elsie for showing me the light on Bolita beans. She's 92 years old, born and raised in Colorado and a huge bean fan. She had not been able to find Bolita beans for a long time and when we did find them here locally at our Honeyville Farms store, she was thrilled! Beefy BBQ Beans are perhaps my favorite place to put them. 

Zuni Gold is an heirloom variety bean from Mexico and is very rare in the USA. However I found some! Again, Honeyville. I love that store.
Classic  Dried Pinto Beans are so pretty aren't they? I think they may be just one of my favorite friends. 
Hello friends. Now I've used cooked pintos in place of fat in my cookies and brownies. Perhaps my favorite use  is taking instant refried bean flakes dry, and putting them in my spice and seed mill. In this way I make a powder with the instant bean flakes. For a fat replacement I use the following ratio:
1/2 cup butter replaced with: 1/4 cup bean powder (mix with the dry ingredients) Increase the water in the recipe by 1/2 cup. 

 I use this in brownies in place of fat and in cookies as well. It adds fiber and protein and makes them really moist. Granny says they make really good fudge too. 
Classic Small Red Beans look like movie stars huh? Red beans usually come in three varieties: 

  • Azuki bean, commonly used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, particularly as red bean paste
  • Kidney bean, commonly used in Indian and North American cuisine, such as chili con carne and red beans and rice
  • Miva Mahogany, a rainforest tree

I adore them made into Instant beans and used in my Bean and Rice Fajita Casserole:
Bean and Rice Fajita Casserole
2 cups  instant red or black beans  (make your own here)
1 cup long grain rice
½ cup Honeyville bell pepper trio
½ cup honeyville dehydrated onion
1T Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning blend
½ tsp cumin seed
½ tsp oregano leaves (or 1 drop oil of oregano)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf
½ cup Honeyville cheese sauce powder
¼ cup powdered tomato
Place contents of jar in a deep covered casserole and add 6 cups of very hot water. Place covered in a solar oven or conventional oven 30-35 minutes.

Next up is a Garbanzo bean.  I called them Gonzo beans when I was a kid. I can't figure out why except that maybe I had an unusually odd obsession with the Muppets...and I like crooked noses. Hmm. Neither of which explains why I like these beans. Oddly enough the cooked beans can be dehydrated in a low oven for a few hours and taste remarkably similar to a peanut...but are low fat. Deep fried cooked garbazo (chick-peas) are very popular here in the Southwest as a snack in our Spanish markets. I love them!

We use Garbanzo beans most ofen in homemade hummus

Broken red lentils are also a big winner for food storage. Most often used in Indian cooking for making Dahl. Dahl is a thick creamy lentil stew that's usually full of spices and deep flavor. It is usually cooked for several hours over low heat until thick and heavenly.  I'll be posting that recipe soon. Just for the record. I'm a big fan!

We serve it here with spiced Basmati Rice and some fresh cilantro. It doesn't hurt to have some naan flat bread too. 

There you go! More bean ammo to help with your food storage adventures! Keep going, saving money, and working hard! God bless.
Your Friend,
Chef Tess

1 comment:

Shellee said...

Steph, I knew that we were always meant to be friends; but crud, you have just answered a million questions that I had about those beans that I saw at Honeyville. Seriously, could I adore you any more than I do? Um... I guess I could become a stalker? Nah.
♥ you!