MEXICOONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS
Episode 16: Beans Inside and Out
“Where did the saying ‘you don’t know beans’ come from?” ponders Rick. “Did you ever think it might be an insult to the bean?” And with that, he begins a half-hour exploration of the deceptively complex and varied world of one of Mexico’s most ubiquitous staple foods. Along a road in Mexico, he tells us about the invisible “bean belt,” a culinary continental divide that separates the light-bean-eating north from the black-bean-eating south. In a Mexican market, he buys an ollaa traditional ceramic bean potthen takes it home and walks us through the simple steps of making Perfect Beans Three Ways
: in the olla, in a modern pot and in a skillet. We learn the real meaning of “refried beans,” and the secret to making them smooth and creamy. At a country home, an artisan cheese-maker shows us how to make Queso Fresco
, the crumbling cheese used to top beans throughout Mexico. And back in his kitchen, Rick finishes the show with an inventive twist: Smoky Chipotle Beans with Wilted Spinach & Masa Gnocchi
. Now that’s using your bean.