My favorite beans in Austin are served at Fresa’s. I have been working on a home version and I am getting close. Apparently it has a lot to do with lard.
Rancho Gordo is an impressive company. They sell many kinds of high quality (and highly tasty) heirloom beans. I am using Cranberry. As for the ‘soak’, there are a few directions. A quick simmer or the overnight cold soak seem to be the most common. So, of course, I opted for the middle of the road. Warm water, three hour soak. It worked out fine. There also seems to be a debate on keeping the soaking liquid or tossing it out. I tossed it, but I want to do more testing on that.
The flavor pack for cooking is bacon, onions, cilantro, chilis and tomatoes. Oh, ya, and beer. That is where the borracho comes in.
Here are the beans liquified into refried beans. Great for tacos.
The small things. I rushed one of these loaves, the one on the bottom of the above picture. I did a sloppy job with the book fold. Proof is in the pudding. It didn’t have nearly the rise of the other two loaves. Lesson learned.
Fennel Sausage, Shallots, Green Onions, Whipped Cream and Mozzarella.
Pizza steel. Game changer. Holds 20 times the energy of a pizza stone. It also doubles as a flat top when you put it on your oven burners. You can even put it in your freezer to make a cold top for ice cream production.
Cream on a pizza? Not as shocking as it may seem. Everything starts with milk. That is where we get cheese, butter and cream. Wait a second, butter pizza?
Green and Red onions, I like the contrast in both the flavor and the color. And, as always, New Jersey mozzarella.
Central Market (North Lamar) has three or four different types of live oysters at the moment. They are all wonderful, raw or cooked.
And, CM usually throws in a couple extra with your order (incase you find one of your prized specimens had expired on the way home). The live ones are much more tasty.
Mise en place
Base layer of creamed spinach
Caramelized onions. No need for sugar or balsamic vinegar. Start with high heat, oil, salt and onions. As the edges of the onions brown, keep stirring to break down the onions and release the starch. Reduce the heat as they finish to a golden brown. It’s about time, technique and temperature. This process isn’t about adding more ingredients, it about a process to get to a precise goal: breaking down the ingredient to make a certain flavor and texture (not unlike making risotto rice).