Rancho Gordo

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  • BRAM Cookware
    Amazing collection of clay pots for cooking, now available onlilne.
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    If you're eager to start cooking with clay, this is the place to start. I love the round soup pots for beans but the casseroles will do as well.
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About Rancho Gordo and this blog

  • We grow many varieties of New World products, specializing in heirloom beans. We sell only domestically in the US at this point, via our website (, directly to restaurants and at farmers markets. The older I get, the more I realize I've barely begun to scratch the surface of the things that interest me, so this blog is hardly the last word on anything, just a collection of experiments. If you have questions, more information or corrections, I'd love to hear from you in the "comments" section after each post.
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« A Clarification on Tequesquite and an Update from Marilyn Tausend | Main | Good Cheese in Mexico »

March 20, 2009


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I love Caldo Tlalpeno! I have missed that one thing the most since I moved away from south Texas. I'm going to have to make some soon.


Having consulted Sra. Kennedy's "authoritative" text on the matter, you are pretty close. The only thing you are missing is carrots, green beans, epazote (a weed that I have been trying to eradicate from my property (unsuccessfully)) and avocado. My verdict: you pretty much nailed it. Also, since there is more than one way to make any classic dish, orthodoxy is, IMHO, completely verboten when it comes to matters such as this. The ultimate criteria: 1) is it yummy? 2) does it capture the essence of the dish?

This offering would appear to achieve both. I will try both versions and perhaps expound on my results...somewhere...maybe here....whatever.


I have squat-all knowledge of Mexican cooking, and won't pretend otherwise. However, I loves me a good, flavorful bowl of soup, so took all the above noted ingredients, starting with Fatted Calf lard, and swapping out simple (cooked) dried cannelini beans for the chickpeas (just don't love them), and went full-bore ahead. Added the Mexican oregano up top and put in a few generous squeezes of tomato paste for sweetness and body.
Roasted half a chicken (yes, every butcher in the state, it seems, is happy to sell you half a bird) and shredded that up and added to the stew. Placed in serving bowls and garnished with fresh, chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. Gooo-oood!!

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