What to do with: January 2021 Essentials

What to do with: January 2021 Essentials

Ben @ Ben to Table

We're kicking off the new year with a great assortment of tasty pantry essentials -- including some elusive pasta! Here's what's in the box:

  *  Bomba Rice (Santo Tomas)
  *  Unicorn Cornmeal
(Marsh Hen Mill/Geechie Boy Mill)
  *  Organic Bucatini
  *  Domingo Rojo Bean
(Rancho Gordo)   
  *  Cassoulet Beans
(Rancho Gordo)
  *  Oregon Sea Salt Chocolate

As always, you can check out the "How to cook: Beans" post for both the domingo rojos and the cassoulet beans.

Bomba Rice (Santo Tomas)

Bomba Rice 

Bomba rice is the perfect rice for paella, absorbing 3x its volume in broth, while still retaining its shape and texture, and Santo Tomas’s Bomba rice is grown with no fertilizers or pesticides in the Albufera Nature Reserve in Catalonia. You can of course use it for other dishes than paella, as well, but that’s what it was born for!

Here's one good (meat and seafood) paella recipe, and here's another. For a veg-heavy take, check here!

Unicorn Cornmeal (Marsh Hen Mill/Geechie Boy Mill)

Unicorn cornmeal 

We featured Unicorn Grits in mid-2020 – it’s a strain the folks at Geechie Boy developed from their Sea Island Blue Corn (basically, there were some pink kernels, so they had fun with it!). Use this for some delicious and colorful corn bread, muffins, or stuffing, or anywhere else you might bring in some corn meal.

Here's the Geechie Boy cornbread recipe, or you can check out Sean Brock's  recipe from Husk here (the latter involves a fair amount of bacon).

Organic Bucatini (Gentile)

Bucatini is so named because “buco” means hole – it’s a long, spaghetti-like noodle with a hole running through it. This shape is particularly popular in and around Rome, and this version uses both high-quality, organic wheat as well as top-notch production processes like a bronze die for cutting and low-temp drying.

This does really well in a red sauce, but I also enjoy it with some lighter sauces like a pesto or even a pan sauce sauce from a sauteing vegetables and seasonings and adding some of the salted pasta water.

Domingo Rojo Bean (Rancho Gordo)   

Domingo Rojo Bean       

Domingo Rojos are a small, dense, red bean, great for dishes like chili or beans and rice. You can also put it to work in lieu of chickpeas in a hummus-style treatment, add to salads, or bake into a casserole. 

Check out the "How to cook: Beans" post for more!

Cassoulet Beans (Rancho Gordo)

 Cssoulet Beans

These beans are grown in California from French, Tarpais bean stock – the traditional white bean most prized for cassoulet. Large, white, and creamy, you can also use this bean for many other preparations: as a pot bean, for a white bean soup, or as a dip.

If you want to go the Cassoulet route, check out this blog post for a very traditional recipe (delicious, but with approximately a ton of meat). And here’s a Smitten Kitchen recipe for a leaner, vegetarian version (though she does add some sausage which can be omitted).

And check out the "How to cook: Beans" post for more!

Oregon Sea Salt (Ranger)

Ranger Sea Salt Bar 

The craft chocolatiers at Ranger took flaky Oregon sea salt, combined it with delicious Peruvian cacao, and came out with a dynamite chocolate bar. Open and enjoy!



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