Gastronomy

There really is nothing better than enjoying a beautiful meal with friends. Humans are inherently social creatures, and sharing a meal together, or a beer or glass of wine is a type of glue that joins families, friends and forces us to interact and engage. Food is an essential part of travel - to truly experience a place, there is no better way than diving into whatever the locals eat. Finally, food and drink provide some of the must fulfilling, challenging and engaging experiences that life has to offer. What is better than trying something completely new and exciting for the first time, experiencing a sensation of taste or smell that you've never encountered before? Food and drink are essential parts of existing. 

Be sure to check out my blog for updates on various food adventures. 

What I'm drinking: 

Pét-nat from Split Rail Winery out of Boise, ID. 

Pét-nat, short for Pétillant-Naturel an old-school method of carbonating wine, pre-champagne. Instead of letting the base-wine completely ferment, and then achieving carbonation through a secondary fermentation, pet-nat goes into the bottle not-fully-fermented, allowing the carbonation process to continue and make a delicious, light, bubbly wine. 

Delicious, funky, unfiltered and fun, the Split Rail version (like most of their stuff) is bonkers-good.

Bubbly bubbly

Bubbly bubbly

What I'm eating: 

Pepiada XXX Domino Beans (From the upcoming Pepiada XXX Cookbook)

We were determined that our beans would be the best damn beans in Missoula. We’re no strangers to dried legumes. Juan and Diego grew up in Venezuela and Colombia respectively, where beans are a staple of every day life, and Keaton grew up in southern Idaho, the son of a bean broker. We know beans, and these will not dissapoint. Just like sofrito, they’re incredibly versatile - a simple dinner of beans and rice, some huevos rancheros, or even a black bean cake on some quinoa. The one trick to this recipe is getting the consistency right - the beans should break down a lot over the course of cooking, and you don’t want them watery and messy when you fill an arepa. Take the time and muscle to stir the holy hell out of them at the end over medium-high heat to achieve the correct, thick consistency.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags dried black beans (preferably Goya)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-4 cups sofrito
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)

Soak beans overnight in cold water. Rinse them, and put them in a large stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low to maintain a constant, low simmer. Cut onion into quarters and add to pot, add whole garlic cloves, bay leaves and cilantro stems to pot. Cover.

Let beans cook over medium-low - low heat for 2-3 hours. Remove bay leaves and cilantro stems if possible. Add sofrito, soy sauce, cumin, oregano and cider vinegar and continue to cook, covered until beans and sofrito come together (approximately another hour). 

Check consistency of beans, they should be very thick if using for the Domino. If still watery, increase heat until beans bubble, and stir vigorously, uncovered until they reduce to desired texture (this could take a while - you want some stiff beans so they don’t slop out of the arepa). Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Beans can be refrigerated or frozen. Refridgeration and subsequent reheating will actually improve the consistency (become thicker) for arepas.