Last year I became aware that a friend of mine had joined the Rancho Gordo Bean Club. It's a quarterly shipment of heirloom beans and certain other grains. I didn't think too much about it at first because although I know how to cook dried beans, I'd gradually switched to canned ones over the past couple of decades for the sake of convenience.
Then my friend began making wonderful bean dishes for our various get-togethers and eventually I decided to order a bag of Royal Corona beans to be shipped with one of her orders.
Royal Coronas are enormous, but with a delightful, creamy texture. The first time I had them, they were served with a basic vinaigrette. They were good that way, but I immediately thought of the Blue Apron recipe for Brown Butter and Thyme Gnocchi with maitake mushrooms and fresh corn. I figured that subbing the beans for gnocchi would be really good. I was 100% correct.
I wasn't quite sold on the bean club yet, but a bag of pinto beans gently tipped me over the edge. My friend gave me one of her extra bags of them and I made almost a week's worth meals including chili, refried beans and even a bowl of the just-cooked beans that I ate as soup as soon as they were finished cooking. In fact, there's still one more serving in my freezer.
The bean club is actually limited to a certain number of people, so I had to wait for notification that there was a spot available. I joined as soon as I got the chance and my first bean club shipment arrived this past Friday afternoon.
That worked out perfectly because I needed to bring a side dish for a taco dinner Saturday night. I cooked a pound of midnight black beans with veggie broth, onion, garlic and spices in the crock pot all day yesterday while I was on the Caffeine Crawl. They were a big hit. I have about half of them left and I'll be eating them for lunches next week with rice and vegetables.
The crock pot works pretty well for me when I don't want to babysit beans cooking on the stovetop for hours, but I'll be keeping an eye out for a bean pot I can use to bake them in the oven. I don't feel compelled to jump on the pressure cooker bandwagon, but of course that would be an option for making them much faster.
So here's where I ask if you have any bean recipes you love. I'm already planning on trying the Smitten Kitchen Pizza Beans recipe. Any other great ones I should try?
Note: Not a sponsored post. I just really like this company and their products!