Making this a couple of days ago, I could hardly keep my tasting spoon out of the food processor as I was whizzing up the bean mixture. Oh is it good! Thanks to Phillis Carey, who made this at a recent cooking class. It took me about 3 days to decide this needed to be on the menu for our weekend family birthday.
Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that there is a moderate amount of prep to making this – it’s not like buying canned bean dip and spreading on some sour cream and jarred chile salsa and calling it done.
There’s a fairly simple chile salsa to make (dried chiles, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, cider vinegar and salt) first. The bean layer isn’t all that hard exactly, but you do have to char the chiles first (poblano/pasilla), peel, seed and chop them. With onion, garlic, fresh lime juice, cilantro, then some seasonings, it does take a few minutes to prep too. A note about the chiles . . . New Mexican chiles are nothing more than dried Anaheim chiles (they’re not hot). You may also see them as “California chiles.” I believe they’re the same thing. These are not necessarily chiles FROM New Mexico – but once Anaheims are dried they seem to be attached to New Mexico (they do grow thousands of pounds of them).
The bean layer is spread into a flat dish (like a decorative pie plate at right) and allowed to chill awhile. Meanwhile you can make the chile salsa (including a bit of broiling and baking time for the tomatoes, onions and garlic). The food processor makes simple work, though, of the sauce once the ingredients are all ready to go. The salsa recipe makes more than you’ll need, but it can be used for other things (another recipe from the class that I’ll share soon). I actually used two poblano chiles when I made it, but I like that chile flavor.
An hour before you’re ready to serve this, remove the bean mixture from the refrigerator (so the dip isn’t chilled-cold), then just before serving you spread on the sour cream, then the salsa. Done. Your guests will just not recognize this from the throw-together-from-cans-type of layered bean dip. The flavors are deep (not hot) and complex. Serve with tortilla chips, and I defy you to stop at one! I heard comments like this: “wow, what’s IN this, “Mom, this is amazing,” and “is this ever GOOD!”
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Black Bean Layered Dip with New Mexican Chile Salsa
Recipe: Phillis Carey, cooking instructor and author
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic — minced (use large cloves)
1 whole poblano chile — roasted, skinned and diced (or use canned Ortega)
1/2 cup onion — chopped
30 ounces canned black beans — drained, rinsed
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro — chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne — or to taste
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cilantro — chopped, for garnish on top
1/2 cup Roasted New Mexico Chile Salsa (below)
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, poblano chile and onion. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. In food processor blend beans, lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, spices and water until smooth, adding up to 2 T. more water if necessary to make a fairly smooth consistency. Add onion mixture and blend until smooth. A bit of chunky texture is okay. Spread mixture into a shallow bowl or pie plate, cover and chill for 2 hours, or up to 1 day. Allow bean mixture to sit out for an hour before continuing.
3. Spread top of bean mixture with sour cream and spoon salsa over the top. Sprinkle top with additional cilantro.
Per Serving: 111 Calories; 2g Fat (13.1% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 545mg Sodium.
Roasted New Mexico Chile Salsa
4 whole dried New Mexico chiles
3 medium plum tomatoes
1/2 small white onion — sliced
6 cloves garlic — peeled
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano — Mexican, if available
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup water — approximately
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Pull the stems off the dried chiles, tear them open (flat) and shake out the seeds. Place in a bowl, cover with hot tap water and lay a plate on top to keep them submerged, for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Preheat broiler. Place whole tomatoes on a broiler pan or baking sheet (line with foil) and broil for about 6 minutes, or until blackened in spot. Turn them over and roast another 6 minutes or so, until soft and blackened in spots. Cool.
3. Turn oven to 425. Separate onion on a baking sheet and combine with garlic cloves. Set in the oven. Stir carefully every few minutes, until the onions and garlic are soft, about 15 minutes.
4. Place roasted tomatoes and drained chiles in blender (or food processor) and process to a fairly smooth paste. Scrape 2/3 of the puree into a large bowl. Roughly chop the onions and garlic, and add to blender with the remaining chile-tomato mixture. Pulse repeatedly until all are finely chopped, adding a bit of water as necessary, to keep the mixture loose. Scrape puree into the bowl, then stir in oregano and vinegar, then add enough water to thin it a bit. Taste it and season with salt, and maybe a bit of sugar if it tastes bitter. Use immediately, or keep refrigerated up to 5 days. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Per Serving: 96 Calories; 1g Fat (6.7% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 3226mg Sodium.
A year ago: Lemon Rice Pilaf