Food And Football – Cook Some Ranch Style Beans While Watching The Seahawks Battle The Texans

This week at Food and Football, we look at the Seattle Seahawks, who travel to Houston to take on the Texans. Frankly, there is not much at stake in this game for either team. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some storylines worth examining. Plus, stick around long enough, and you will find out about the gastronomic angle of this matchup.

Let’s start with the Hawks, who are coming off an emotional win over the hapless division rival San Francisco 49ers last week. But they also lost star safety Jamal Adams to injury. Unfortunately, he will be out for the season. And given his injury history, that might be a career for Adams. With Seattle just signing him at great expense before the 2020 season, cue those who will call him a bust. But if you want something to feel better about, Russell Wilson said this week that he wants to stay in Seattle for another 20 years. Beating Houston this weekend won’t change the Seahawks’ season trajectory much, since they are already all but eliminated from playoff contention.

But beating the Texans might actually be a possibility for the Seahawks since Houston is an even worse team than Seattle right now with a 2-10 record. That said, beating Seattle still has some cache to it for any team, so Houston might muster what it takes to eke out a win.

When it comes to food and the state of Texas, there are a plethora of options. Sure, we could talk barbeque and meat all day long, but we thought we would look at something you might find around the perimeter of your plate (though it’s hearty enough to be center stage). Of course, we are talking about beans—in this case, ranch-style beans from Texas. Beans admittedly aren’t the world’s sexiest food, but they do have a lot going for them. For starters, they are cheap, filling, and good for you. And if done right, they can also be downright delicious. Take a look at this quick video to see what we are talking about here. And then follow these tips:

  • If you consider yourself a dried-bean aficionado, run don’t walk to buy Samin Nosrat’s cookbook, “Salt Fat Acid Heat.” You won’t regret it, especially when she talks about bean cookery
  • Among Nosrat’s bean-cooking tips, you should soak your beans overnight, with both salt and baking soda dissolved into the water. Follow her directions, including to go light on the latter ingredient, otherwise it will turn your beans too mushy
  • When you cook your beans, do so very gently. Don’t boil them too hard. Put a lid on the pot, but vent it slightly to let moisture escape. Cook them until just tender and not a minute longer

What do you do with your ranch beans after you make them? What don’t you do with them should be the question. You could make a giant platter of nachos for the game, sprinkled with your homemade ranch beans that you learned about from your favorite little sports column, Food and Football. Or you could wheel out the smoker and cook some ribs, chicken, or sausage to go with your beans. And there’s nothing wrong with going old school and just eating a bowl of beans for lunch with a little hot sauce before the game even starts.  

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About Paul Redman 122 Articles
Paul Redman is a writer and chef in Seattle who grew up in the Midwest. His work has appeared in print and online, including San Francisco magazine, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Contrary. He eats too many chicken wings and cracks way too many dad jokes and food puns. Follow him on Twitter @predman.