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Sunday, May 28, 2006 

What are YOUR Favorite Cookbooks?

The New York Times today has a special "food issue" that highlights a few chef's favorite books....and more. Go nibble on some fine words....especially the write up on the new "memoire" from Julia Child, "My Life in France"

My favorite cookbooks (and a book about food or two...) that I have turned to time and time again...for recipes, tips and just good reading. well...where do I begin? Kitchen Confidential. The Junior League Cookbooks. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The Moosewood Adventures. The Greens Restaurant Cookbook. The Silver Palate Cookbooks. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. The Cuisine of California.

Speaking of "faves"....one of Julia's favorite little local restaurants here in Santa Barbara is La Super-Rica. (Eating LA discovered our little mexican food gem, too....) One of the highlights is the beans. They're done right.

La Super-Rica Pinto Beans

About 2 hours

NOTES: At Santa Barbara's La Super-Rica, these simple beans have maintained their popularity for almost 20 years, according to owner Isidoro Gonzales. You'll need 6 cups for the party. If making up to 3 days ahead, chill airtight; freeze to store longer.
MAKES: About 10 cups; 8 to 10 servings

1 pound dried pinto beans
About 1 teaspoon salt
3 slices bacon (about 2
1/2 oz. total), chopped
/2 pound chorizo or linguisa (Portuguese) sausage
1 poblano chili (also called pasilla; about 3
1/2 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

1. Sort beans and discard any debris. Rinse beans and put in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Add 21/2 quarts water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender to bite, 11/4 to 11/2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Meanwhile, in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir bacon frequently until browned, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl.

3. Remove and discard chorizo casings. Crumble sausage into frying pan. Stir frequently until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili and stir until limp, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. To sausage mixture, add cooked bacon and 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid; stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Stir sausage-bacon mixture into beans and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

(from Sunset Magazine)

I got so caught up with the review of My Life in France, I had to rush out and buy it. I find it sounds so like Julia, I think I'm going to really enjoy it.
Thanks for the beans they look yummy and I'm always looking for new ways with them.

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