April 21, 2015

Black Bean Dip

Everyone gives beans space when they chill with habanero
It's that magical time of year when, if you're lucky, you can watch baseball, basketball, and hockey in the same day. Ancient Greek philosophers referred to this as "sweet as hell." They also recommended that it be celebrated with the inviting over friends, and the eating a snack foods. Also togas. They were big into togas. But everybody knows that if you feed your friends sub-par snack foods, you will enrage the Sumerian god of pernicious sportsmanship, who will cause your teams to lose. Can you deal with that Pressure? Can you handle that responsibility? CAN YOU? I didn't think so. Fortunately, I'm here to help.


8 oz dried black beans (yes, the picture showed canned beans. I hadn't gone shopping yet. Sue me. Or don't. That would be better. Don't sue me.)
1 large onion
1.5 cups of...something. We'll get to that later (you might be wondering why I bothered to mention it if I'm not explaining it until later. I might be wondering the same thing. WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON! We should totally open a bar together.)
1 TBSP and also 1 normal human's pinch of salt
2 tsp Olive Oil
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 smallish human's pinch of powdered habanero

The first step is to soak your beans for, approximately, ever. Seriously, cover them with 3 inches of water, and soak them for at least 12 hours. This is the "planning ahead" method of bean perpetration. Another option is the "oh crap, I was supposed to soak the beans" method of preparation, which I prefer. If that's more your style, cover your beans with the same amount of water, bring them to a hard boil over high heat, cover the pot, and turn the heat off. Let them sit for at least an hour.

Regardless of which method you subscribe to, drain and rinse your beans. Then cover them with water again, add in a tablespoon of salt, bring them to a boil, cover them, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer your beans for about 45 minutes. Why are we throwing out water and then adding in water? It builds character. I'll tell you when you're older. Because Santa's watching you. Shut up. (Some people say that the soaking process breaks down indigestible sugars present in the beans, some of which end up in the water used to soak them. But that sounds like primitive superstition, so I'm gonna say it's because of ghosts.) Once your ghost-infested beans are tender-ish, keep 1 and a half cups of the water you cooked them in, and strain the rest if it out. Set the beans, and the bean-water, aside (setting things aside is a common occurrence in recipes. Apparently recipe writers think that people have trouble knowing not to put every last ingredient directly in front of them at all times.)

Ok, now that the beans are finally subdued, let's deal with the rest of this recipe. Dice your onion and sauté it in your olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until they get some color, but aren't too cooked, like you on the first night of a caribbean vacation. Add in your cumin, garlic, pepper, habanero, and beans, and sauté another minute or two. Add in the bean-water, bring it to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer those beans another 10-15 minutes.
Phalanx of tortilla chips not included

Now comes the fun part, and by "fun," I mean "dammit, I JUST got feeling back into my arm after that latke recipe from DECEMBER, and now I have to deal with THIS crap?" Take a spoon, and start smash smash smashing the beans against the side of the pot, occasionally stirring and scraping down the sides. Keep going until about 3/4 of the beans have been smushed (Yes, you could technically use a food processor. But the texture would be off. And also, it's a wimpy alternative. And also I still don't have one). And that's it! Black bean dip! Eat it hot, cold, or somewhere in between, with your friends, or sad and alone. It'll still taste awesome.

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