Monday, March 24, 2014

Nigella's Terracotta Bean Dip

Hello! Anyone out there? It's been a while.

I actually started writing this post last night. I was almost giddy with excitement. My baby was down for the night and there I was spending some alone time with my blog for the first time in months feeling the old creative juices flowing again. I began typing rapid fire. I felt free! Like galloping bareback on my pony when I was a kid. And then…Sawyer woke up. Screaming actually. Blogging ended before it began.

But it was okay. Partly because he looks like this.

But also because there's something selfishly awesome about when your baby wakes up crying from a nightmare or whatever reason and you can be there to make it all better. I walked him around for almost an hour even though he stopped crying the second I picked him up.

This is a far different place from where we were a couple of months ago. You see part of my long absence wasn't just having a baby but having a baby with severe food allergies. Who literally never stopped crying once he started. Poor guy. But that's another post - maybe even another blog.

Anyway we went to a friend's on Saturday and she was such an amazing host and cook that I was actually inspired to post the dip I'd taken over that night.

I'm finally coming out of the baby fog y'all. And I'm going to feed every damn one of you.

Nigella's Terracotta Bean Dip
Mildly adapted from FEAST
* A twist on your typical bean dip, this one uses red kidney beans and a mix of warm spices. I absolutely loved the lime in it it so I put the zest in the dip as well as on top. This is an unusual, but not weird change of pace and easy to make.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (or 3 shallots)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I'd even try upping it next time)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne, optional
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans (including the juice)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, or to taste
zest and juice of a medium lime
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Tortilla chips or pita chips for serving

Heat the oil in a medium/large cast iron pan or heavy bottom pan for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté until soft and golden. Stir in the garlic and sauté a couple more minutes. Add in the tomato paste and spices and stir around cooking a few more minutes to let the flavors deepen.

Add in the beans and liquid from the can and cook a couple more minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner to let cool for a bit. Then transfer to a food processor and add in the lime zest (you can reserve a little zest for garnish if desired) and juice and additional 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until as much a puree as the skins on the beans will allow.

Taste for salt and add any more or pepper if you wish and blend again.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with additional zest and cilantro. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to eight hours before serving with tortilla or pita chips to serve.

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