Tonawanda News — Some of you might remember my column last week in which I mentioned I often find recipe inspiration from www.theKitchn.com website. I’m at it again this week with this bean (dip? side?) recipe.
I did a fair bit more tweaking on this recipe than I normally do, which has me wondering if maybe I really have learned how to cook over the past year and a half or so I’ve written this column.
This recipe, which is something akin to a fancy bean dip, or loaded refried beans, isn’t really an attempt at learning a new cooking technique or using a new ingredient as is normally the intent of this column. Perhaps that means I’m running out of new things to learn?
Yeah, I don’t buy it either.
So for one week, please put aside everything you think you know about the Curious Culinarian, and enjoy this delicious low-calorie and versatile recipe.
It was called a no-guilt bean dip on www.theKitchn.com, but since I made enough adjustments to sort of spice things up, it will henceforth be known as spicy bean dip. Simple but effective, I think.
The best thing about this recipe is the many ways you can use the end result. It makes a heck of a lot of beans ... using an entire 16-ounce package of dried pinto beans will do that.
I first used the mixture as a base for bean and cheese quesadillas. Just swipe some on a flour tortilla, add some cheese, grill and voila, dinner. And you can dress this up anyway you want: add ground beef, grilled chicken, avocado, jalapenos, you name it.
The same principle would apply to burritos, nachos and tacos. You could even just eat this stuff on its own as a side dish or as a dip with Fritos or tortilla chips.
The biggest change I made is one you should probably ignore if you don’t like your food a bit spicy. The original recipe called for a 32-ounce can of diced tomatoes. I used two 10-ounce cans of original Ro-Tel — something you can expect to find in any good Texan cook’s pantry. For those unfamiliar, it’s diced tomatoes and green chiles and is perfect mixed with melted Velveeta cheese for some pretty sinfully delicious queso.
It also comes in a mild variety if you want just a little bit of kick.
(Boy, I could write an entire column on just my favorite ways to use this stuff.)
I’m also not a huge fan of tomatoes in general, which is why I chose a smaller amount, so feel free to use what works best for you. Don’t like onions? Skip ‘em. Love the taste of black olives? Throw ‘em in.
Spicy bean dip
1 16-ounce bag of dry pinto beans (or six cups of canned pinto beans, drained)
2 10-ounce cans Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, drained (may substitute any variety of finely diced tomatoes here)
10-ounce bag of frozen corn
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 to 3 tablespoons of salt to taste (I used 2
Cook beans according to preferred method until they’re mushy. I cooked them covered in water in the slow-cooker on low for about eight hours. Drain and set aside.
Add olive oil to large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft or just turning golden brown.
Add garlic and saute until just fragrant.
Add corn and tomatoes and cook until most of the extra liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off.
Add sugar and spices and about 1 tablespoon of the salt and mix together.
Add beans and mix with other ingredients, smashing them until they are the consistency you prefer. I only partially mashed mine, so some whole beans are still visible. Add rest of salt to taste.
Remove from heat and enjoy as you please.
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