Posted by: lornasass | April 8, 2010


Steve Sando and me horsing around just before my pressure cooker demo at Rancho Gordo

When I first met Steve Sando about 4 years ago, I soon felt like I’d known him for years.  Who knows why these things happen, but he’s generous and great fun to be with–and is quick to bring out my inner comedienne.

Steve is the kind of guy who–even if he doesn’t have time–finds time to have his friends over to dinner.  That’s why, after a busy workday at his fast-growing heirloom bean, mail-order business, Rancho Gordo, Steve invited me and The Sweetie over to dinner during our recent visit to Napa.

Although Steve isn’t convinced that my much-prized pressure cooker does justice to beans, I’m slowly winning him over with the high-end WMF cooker I gave him as a thanks for hosting a book party for the 20th anniversary edition of COOKING UNDER PRESSURE.  Early reports indicate that his pressure-cooked pot roast, fork tender in about an hour, was a thumbs up.  (Already the author of HEIRLOOM BEANS, Steve has two book deadlines coming up, so I say he’d better get used to cooking under pressure!)

Steve is a casual host and did most of the cooking while we were hanging around with him in the kitchen, drinks nearby.  The Sweetie caught us on video as Steve talked about “nixtamal” and taught this virgin tortilla-maker to prepare them from scratch from his home-made masa.  What a difference in taste these very fresh tortillas have when compared to storebought!

Watch me become an expert when Steve leaves me on my own to finish up making the tortillas as he poaches chicken to shred and roasts tomatillos to make a salsa:

Here we are at the table with Steve demonstrating how to put it all together:


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