Blogger’s Note: I caught a lot of flak from some trolls when I first published this back in 2008. For the record, someone gave me hell for soaking the beans in salt water. Another person obviously didn’t read the whole thing because s/he went on and on about soaking the beans for at least eight hours. I wonder how short that person’s nights are? Oh, and there was the person who was upset because I used the “f-word” because apparently professors aren’t supposed to cuss. (Obviously, that person has never met some of my colleagues.) Sadly, Whole Foods doesn’t carry these beans anymore. So, if you know where I can find some on the ‘net, let me know because they were a huge hit. Sadly, I’ve had to resort to cooking 55 cent bags of pinto beans purchased at Aldi.
Oh. My. God. I bought a bag of Gourmet Valley Red Calypso Beans during our Whole Foods shopping binge. I nearly didn’t buy them because they were $4.99 for a 12 oz bag, but since I was already spending a fortune on organic spices, I said “What the hell?” and threw them in the cart. Let me tell you, they were well-worth the money. Soooo good.
As some of you know, I am the Queen of the Bean. It must be a southern girl thing, because in the winter I make beans almost every Monday night. Red Beans and Rice. Black Beans and Rice. White Beans and Ham. Lentils. Split Peas. Pinto Beans. Nigella’s Red Bean Dip (like hummus, but with kidney beans). I’ve even been known to make spiced broiled garbanzo beans (but I have not written poetry about them).
I decided that I’d cook these fancy, dancy heirloom beans for Tuesday night’s dinner. I soaked the beans overnight in salted water to prepare them for cooking. On Monday morning, I assembled the bean soup in my slow cooker (i.e., Crockpot). First, I spritzed the bottom of the ceramic bowl with a little EVOO (if you’re not a Rachel Ray fan, that’s short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil). I rinsed the beans, added them to the Crockpot and covered them with about an 1″ of water. I chopped up and onion and dumped it in. I added cumin, parsley, a little black pepper, and red pepper flakes. I did, however, add chopped up smoked sausage to the pot. Usually, I would add some garlic, but I didn’t feel like chopping it up, so … no garlic. Cranked the Crockpot up to high and let ‘er rip until about 6 p.m. (so, about 8 hours).
These turned out so good. They held their shape even though I cooked them all day. They had really good texture. Plus, after I scooped some of the beans into my bowl, I added some small chunks of panquehue cheese that I picked up at Whole Foods. The cheese had pepper flakes mixed into it and melted down nicely.
So. Damned. Good. I just wish I had bought a second bag of the pricey little f*ckers.
Update, 7:18 a.m. : Apparently I wasn’t the only one who liked the beans. The Coach emailed me to say, “Just wanted to let you know that the beans were great!!! I would ask what was in them, but it is probably better that I don’t know.”
Originally Published: February 20, 2008