Black Calypsos and Epazote

Heirloom Beans: The Black Calypso
Chiffonade of Epazote
Olive Oil, Garlic, Mexican Lime Juice, Kosher Salt

The epazote used in the previous post, Beef Short Ribs with Poblanos, seemed to spark some curiosity. This Mexican herb with usage that dates back to the Aztecs rocks! I keep putting it up to my nose to inhale the wonderful strange aroma. In this bean dish, I cut it into a chiffonade, just like I would with basil.
The best way to keep epazote fresh is in a mug with water in the refrigerator, and trim the stems first. The bunch pictured here was all wilted in the market, but perked up overnight with this storage method.

Black Calypso Heirloom Beans are also known as orcas or yin yang beans. Some say they taste like a baked potato. With that in mind, the next time I make them, I’m going to finish with butter, sour cream and chives. If you are a fan of heirloom beans, you might like this Yellow Eye Bean recipe too.
Perhaps you’ve participated in Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook’s Legume Love Affair event? February marks the Eighth hosting. I am sending my Black Calypsos over to Susan along with hearty congratulations for her on-going super successful event. Oh, plus this month there is a special bonus, Cynthia Nelson’s terrific new cookbook My Caribbean Cooking Tastes Like Home will be awarded as a prize. Bean aficionados, come join us in all the fun!

When the Black Calypsos are cooked they turn to shades of brown, but retain their markings. I soaked the beans for several hours, rinsed, then cooked them in water with a bay leaf. I find it important to taste several beans to determine if the batch is cooked properly. Once cooked, the beans were drained of any excess moisture. Meanwhile I warmed up a good amount of olive oil and added plenty of minced garlic. The garlic cooked for about a minute. The beans were added back to the pot and tossed gently. The dish is finished with a squeeze of Mexican lime juice, a sprinkling of Kosher salt, and a chiffonade of epazote.

Carnitas on Corn Tortillas
Black Calypsos with Epazote
Salsa Verde
This simple bean dish is interesting enough to stand on its own. The ingredients would work great with any kind of bean. And here, Black Calypsos with epazote added another dimension to a pork taco.
OK…I’ve been humming a tune all day. I don’t think I’ve heard it in years, decades maybe. All it took were some beans to resurrect it from my memory banks. Written by John Denver in 1975, Calypso is a tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his famous marine conservation research vessel Calypso. Have a listen.
To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean
To ride on the crest of the wild raging storm
To work in the service of life and the living
In search of the answers to questions unknown
To be part of the movement and part of the growing
Part of beginning to understand

CHORUS
Aye Calypso
The places you’ve been to
The things that you’ve shown us
The stories you tell
Aye Calypso
I sing to your spirit
The men who have served you
So long and so well

Like the dolphin who guides you
You bring us beside you
To light up the darkness and show us the way
For though we are strangers in your silent world
To live on the land we must learn from the sea
To be true as the tide
And free as a wind-swell
Joyful and loving in letting it be

Do you remember Aye Calypso?