Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bean Flirting

What an exciting season. The holidays, Cranky's birthday, the inauguration, and the playoffs. Soon, Superbowl.
Since it is still birthday month, Cranky wanted a dress rehearsal of Seven Layer Dip, to see if that would be the choice for Super Sunday. He cooked a pot of homemade refried beans, and then I took over (while he watched some pigskin on TV).
Here's the funny part. We figured if he was going to the trouble of making his own refried beans, he might as well use organic boutique beans. He was chatting up a lovely young lady at the Rancho Gordo stand a few weekends ago, bragging about his version of New England baked beans. The young lovely wanted the recipe! Cranky fell apart, and when he tried to pick up a bag of pinto beans, he got flustered and grabbed some pinks by mistake.
But, no mistake. They came out just great, anyway. I'd show you a picture, but they looked exactly like refried beans. Only they tasted better, because they were homemade with real ingredients.
If you eat a lot of refried beans (we do), please try cooking them at home. It was so easy. Do it on a weekend and stash the leftovers in the freezer.
So, the Seven Layer Dip. I don't even know what the seven layers are supposed to be. Obviously, one is beans. And I assume they go on the bottom, because of their gravitas. Cheese, of course. Sour cream (we used yogurt). Salsa, probably... Hm. Avocado?
I only made it to six layers before pooping out. If you can count chopped cilantro leaves as a layer. Cranky got his portion up to seven, with the addition of some home-brined jalapeños (which pegs too high on my burp-o-meter).
A bowl of oven-baked corn tortilla wedges (better than store-bought greasy salty chips).
Yeah. It was pretty good. Really good. We couldn't wait to eat the leftovers the very next day.
You know how you only have Seven Layer Dip every seven years, just as a spoof? I think we're having it again, very soon.
Of course, we'll have to go back and flirt with the bean girl. Maybe this time, we'll come away with pintos.


kudzu said...

On pre-inauguration weekend my daughter made the Obama chili using Sando's little red beans (pequins?) from Rancho Gordo. It was divine -- but of course she also used RG oregano and chile powder, all so fresh and powerful.

I love to flirt with Steve and I bet I would even flirt with the bean girl to get those precious legumes.

Lunch Buckets said...

Love the idea of dress rehearsal for snacks! Gotta find out how to get me some of those Rancho Gordo beans all you cool kids are always talking about...

dancingmorganmouse said...

I flirted with a mushroom man the other weekend, when my husband was away. And I regularly flirt with the smoked goods chappie, he has the most beautiful blue eyes. Sigh.
So, are refried beans, beans you fry twice?

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

hey, it hasn't been 7 years since your last one.

I made it, for the retro potluck! :)

Kailyn said...

I remember Anita's 7 layer. It was fantastic. I could hardly take myself away from it.

And Cranky got flustered? That's so cute.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: It was so clever of you to celebrate with Obama's chili. Made with awesome ingredients.
Too bad Steve is not there most times we go, but Cranky's OK flirting with the bean girl. :D

Lunch Buckets: I know! You might get to eat snacks two times in a row if they pass the test.
Rancho Gordo beans are available online; click my link. There's a shipping charge, of course, so they end up being expensive. But the freshness and flavor -- it's worth it.

Morgan: I flirted with a cheesemonger once who turned out to be a local food blogger, and now, a friend. Flirting is good.
Refried beans -- Cook a pot of beans until well done (but obvy not falling apart). Drain, and save the liquid. Separate out about half the beans and reserve. Melt bacon fat (be generous) in a skillet with garlic and sliced onion. Cook a while. Add half the beans, stir, and mash with a potato masher. Pour in some of the cooking liquid, a little at a time, keeping mashing and stirring. You might end up adding it all in. Make it loose. Then stir in the reserved whole beans. Did I say salt? Somewhere in there.

Anita: I totally remember your dip. Yours had meat in it.
It went down the disposal, and a few days later, we had to get a new disposal! Not blaming you!!
And I confess, it's never seven years since my last one. :)

Kailyn: Isn't it funny how we can remember all those dishes? Sam's Scotch eggs. Mike's bag of beer peanuts. Hee.
Yep, Cranky has the male gene.

Marie said...

Don't believe I've ever made a layered dip, let alone seven layers! But, it really seems like one of those things people never make themselves, but devour on sight if presented at gatherings. I used to get excited about the Super Bowl because of the food, but have dropped off the last few years. Maybe this year will be the one I get back into the spirit!

Passionate Eater said...

Hmm, I've made it with these components:

1. Refried Beans
2. Ground Meat (Turkey, Beef, or Chopped Pressed Tofu for Vegetarians)
3. Avocados/Guacamole
4. Tomatoes/Salsa
5. Misc. Vegetables (Black Olives, Lettuce, Cilantro, Red Onion)
6. Shredded Cheese
7. Sour Cream

But I will definitely have to try Cranky's method of making refried beans!

dancingmorganmouse said...

Cookie - that's only one frying by my count - how's that refried??

Chilebrown said...

I am so glad you are using bacon fat. Refried beans are wimpy without it. The first thing Ms. Goofy trys at Mexican restaurants is the beans. No lard is a strike against. Next time pick up a bag of cranberry beans for some even better refries.

Heather said...

My thing is the meat guys at New Seasons. Man, are they ever cute. All of them! Hunky, the whole lot. And they love hearing what I'm going to do with their product. *girlish sigh*

I have made my own refritos before, but it's bean awhile.

el said...

Ah beans! I could wax philosophic on all their wonderful attributes, but I do have to second the idea of how cute it was that Cranky got flustered. In the humble midwestern gatherings in which I have sampled said dish, guacamole or just plain ole avocado was one of the seven. Not that your dish needs improvements; looks quite loverly as is.

cook eat FRET said...

yogurt and baked chips
welcome to my world
i was gonna say nightmare...

you guys live quite nicely
i mean really

cookiecrumb said...

Marie: The layered dip is really hokey. Dippy. But that makes it all the more a guilty pleasure (and with good ingredients, it tastes pretty good!).
Wah, I'm not invited to a Super Bowl Party. But I know what to do.

PE: I used to put olives in mine, but the only olives we buy nowadays are too, well, *good* to waste in it.
I haven't made one with meat. Probably won't. :(
Hey, you're married! Congrats.

Morgan: I know, you cunning linguist, you. I have no explanation. I always thought it meant fried twice, too, but it's boiled once and fried once.

ChileBrown: Wow, cranberry beans? I'm glad you told me. I'm glad you told me to make my own refried beans. I'm glad you told me to use bacon fat. And -- it was from my own home-cured bacon!
Nice to see you this morning.

Heather: The meat guys are always cute, and you're right -- they love to hear what you're doing with the product. One of our meat guys fell in love with my rubber chicken purse. His wife needs one, he said.
"Bean," heh.

El: Cranky also flirts with the olive oil lady, and now we have quite a pantry full of olive oil.
I did put a layer of mashed avocado in there. Didn't even bother to guac it up.
I might grow beans, but I'd probably need a few bushes to get even one meal from them.

ceF: It's gourmet junk food if you make it yourself, right? No prob. MY world!

Michelle said...

Well, I'd happily eat some of your seven (er, six) layer dip anytime! Just came by to catch myself up on all the fun things you've been doing - I love Obama Skywalker, and the shout out to Kailua and spam, yay! - and, of course, getting my Cookie fix ;) I hope life is treating you fabulously!

cookiecrumb said...

Yo, Michelle: I just learned from Zoomie yesterday that you two were unable to hook up while she was in Hawaii. So sad.
I bet you're doing well. How could you not? Have you tried Spam musubi yet? :D

EB said...

A dress rehearsal of Seven Layer Dip?? Seriously? That's awesome. And really nothing compares to a pot of Rancho Gordo pintos (with some pork of course).

Paula Maack said...

I love this!! I have been working on my pre-Superbowl post, which hasn't a single bean in it, and now all I can think about is how much I want your seven-layer dip!!! Right NOW! YUMM!!!

Did Cranky get the Santa Maria Pinquitos from Rancho Gordo? They are so good! I am absolutely in love with them, and did a post just recently on a Chili Con Carne recipe I made with them.

I haven't met Steve Sando, yet (I live in SV, and could never make it to the market in SF so early). but he did send me a very nice email last week complimenting me on the chili con carne post, and I was so thrilled!!!

That's even better than flirting, in my book! Now I really want to get up early and make the drive, just to flirt with him!

Thanks for the fun read. And, for stimulating my appetite!


~ Paula

cookiecrumb said...

EB: I just went to a party where they roasted an entire 70-lb. suckling pig! Yeah, there were leftovers, and I brought some home -- including an ear.

cookiecrumb said...

Paula: You just made my day! Thank you.
They were Pink beans, not pinquitos (but yes, Rancho Gordo). I want some a' those pinquitos.
I can save you a trip to the Ferry Plaza -- Steve almost never goes there anymore. He used to come to the San Rafael Sunday market, but not at all now.
He is very nice. He emailed me once, too. Congratulations.
You can get the beans in SF, but you'll have to get them from the lovely bean girl.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes yes YES. Layers of yummy goodness!

Rumela said...

I made this bean flirting for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! I was a little nervous it wouldn't have enough depth of flavor, but it turned out beautifully. thank you for shearing your post.


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cookiecrumb said...

Rumela: I'm impressed. Thanks for the remark.