Santa Maria Style Beans

Spock2This is me with my kitty Bandit trying to work from home (don’t get me wrong, I am blessed in these crazy times to still be collecting a paycheck). She doesn’t like anyone but me. In fact, when company comes over for the afternoon, she hides out in my office for a day or two afterward, to make certain they’re gone. Hiding out seems to be a common theme these days.  What’re ya gonna do?  Not much to do but keep on keeping on and try to take care of business.  The tension though is in the air…what do they say…you could cut it with a knife.  It’s just not cool.  Getting to me, but I am just a sensitive beta male, I have cats for Christ’s sake…
2020-04 BanditMy sweet Bandit, who has narrowly escaped death twice, only to be this neurotic one person cat…

1987 Me & KevinMy oldest friend Kevin (our Mothers were best friends/party buddies before we were born) and I in about 1987, I always thought that folks who flip off the camera looked silly, well I am the epitome of silliness wrapped up in a nice neat little package. It did make me think though, that I’ve been flipping off people for well over three decades…hahahah.

“How do you stay at home if you don’t have one” was the headline I read on an article that I didn’t read and it made me think of that Cheech & Chong movie, Things Are Tough All Over. These are some bad times, but there’s probably someone who has it worse…

Another headline was saying that the Chinese misled everyone as to how bad it had gotten over there and I was like, um, duh, state-run media.  Then again we have the so-called news (do you understand the difference between fact and commentary) selling us their own twist on two party politics that the majority buys into…meanwhile.  My team is better than your team…you both suck.

Found this band randomly…what do they call it…a rabbit hole?  They do not suck.  The comments were interesting in that they seemed to focus mainly on the fact that the front woman had lost a lot of weight and thus were calling her a junkie and a crackhead.  IDK…

2020 BeansI was telling my old pal Big Shawn about the shortage on beans and rice at the grocery store and he mentioned ordering some from Lompoc Beans (above was my order).  I asked him if he had a recipe for the pinquitos and he kindly supplied his own recipe (below) along with one from an old Santa Maria cookbook his Mom had (below that). Don’t know if in all this time of doing this here blog if I’ve posted a recipe but this one is would be a good place to start…

Santa Maria-style Beans (First draft)
Get about 2 cups of dry Pinquito beans, or a pound or so. Exact amount not too important (I don’t measure anything, my style of cooking)
Sort out bad ones, chaff and rocks
Rinse a few times and cover with water for 24 hours mas o menos
Pick off floaters and more chaff
I put about a tbsp of baking soda in the water, not sure why, my grandma did it
Drain after soaking and put in large pot… 10 qts or so.
Cover with water so about an inch over the beans
Bring to boil and then simmer. While bringing to a boil:
Fry about 6 bacon strips, chopped to the size you want. Pour all grease and bacon in pot when done
Put in a smoked ham hock (I’ll investigate non-pork options later)
Simmer for about 4+ hours until tender
While simmering, add:
Add Chile and Tomato products to taste: A couple cans of fire-roasted or normal Rotel, roasted chiles (I use some frozen Hatch chiles I horded a few years ago, cans of Ortega green chile (Anaheim-like peppers) are more traditional to Santa Maria style.), chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, etc… If it’s not to your liking add a can or two of tomato sauce or adjust the type of ingredients. The sky is the limit. I also add Caldo de Tomato con Pollo bouillon to spike the tomato/salt flavor. Add some Cayenne pepper powder if you like more kick. I use a tsp or so of Blaire’s After Death. Anything with seeds (Chile, Tomatillo, tomato) try to get as much seeds out as possible. I soak frozen roasted peppers in water, try to rinse the seeds out in a bowl, and then strain all the juice straight into the beans). Taste juice while cooking and add stuff accordingly.
Garlic. Cloves or powdered. I usually do a tsp of powdered garlic.
Add a couple white onions chopped to your specs. I just quarter them.
If you add this stuff early in the simmering process, they will be mushier due to the cooking, so if you like them more solid add later.
Add water so there is continuously about an inch over the beans.
After 3 or 4 hours take out the ham hock, let cool, and pick meat and soft parts off. Put good stuff back in beans, put bones and skin outside for the raccoons. If feeling edgy, add smoked sausage, kielbasa, or whatever else you feel like. I’m a purist and don’t add anything else.
Let cool a bit or cook more if the beans are still firm. Simmer until sauce is thick but still covers beans. Not too watery.
Eat on their own, top with salsa or a little butter. Goes well with grilled food or garlic bread.

Santa Maria Women's Club Cookbook

One thought on “Santa Maria Style Beans”

  1. At the Safeway near my house the only beans left on the shelf the other day we’re cans of pinquitos and black eyed peas. So I bought some of those and my little girl made rice with it. (She’s 13) I didn’t know she could cook. We had a nice meal.
    Good luck working from home. My wife is doing it. My company is still working out the bugs for teleworking.
    Maybe next week. My wife keeps asking me if my life insurance policy is still up to date. I wonder why…..
    Anywhoo. Keep calm and stay armed.
    Hope to be able to see Ed’s band live in the next two months. Good luck bro


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