Appetizers for Dinner

black bean dip

Do you ever make appetizers for dinner?  It’s one of my favorite treats on a weekend night when we have a movie or a big game to watch.  This past Saturday night we got Sherlock Holmes 2 from Netflix and thought it would be the perfect night for apps for dinner.  We made chicken wings and a bacon black bean dip that was just out of this world.  You have to make this the next time you have a need for an appetizer!  My husband made the entire thing and said it a little laborious, but once he tasted it, he said it was totally worth it…

Spicy Black Bean and Bacon Dip
from The Boston Globe Magazine, February 6, 2011

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled, with 1 Tbs rendered fat reserved
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs chopped pickled jalapeno peppers plus 1 Tbs packing juice (we just used a regular jalapeno chopped up and omitted the juice)
1 29-oz can black beans, drained but not rinsed, 1/2 C beans reserved
1 1/2 Tbs Tomato paste
3 scallions, thinly sliced

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the bacon fat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute; set aside off heat.

In a measuring cup, combine the lime juice, jalapeno packing juice (we omitted), and 3 Tbs hot water.  In a food processor (we used a magic bullet), puree all the beans except for the reserved 1/2 C, the onion mixture, tomato paste, 1/4 Tsp salt, and black pepper to taste, about 30 seconds; scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a flexible spatula.  With the feed tube open and the motor running, add the lime-jalapeno mixture in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping if necessary.  Add the reserved beans and pulse just to combine.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the jalapenos, the scallions, and the bacon.

Cover and let flavors develop, about 30 minutes.  Adjust the season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve.


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