By Lisl Unterholzner
I’m something of a recipe freak. I love to read recipes. I love to write recipes (really, sometimes I even measure things and take notes in case it turns out well enough to make again). I have stacks of recipes culled from magazines and newspapers that I want to try some day. Sadly, for a lot of those recipes, their time will probably never come (yes, Tea-Smoked Duck, I mean you).
Recently, I’ve been musing on a recipe in The Gasparilla Cookbook, Black Bean Dip. This recipe calls to me for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I like having a little something around to nibble on while I’m fixing dinner. Unfortunately, this isn’t a “little” something. This is a “double the recipe to serve 100” something. Which means that even if I cut it in half, I can still serve 12-ish, so I will probably be looking at this bean dip for a good long while.
Then there was the “1 can black bean soup” listed in the ingredients. That one got me thinking: is there really such a thing? What size can? What will happen if I just use a can of black beans?
I went to Publix intending to buy a can of regular black beans, when there I saw it, Black Bean Soup from Goya, on the shelf. Hot dog! I’m in business.
Of course, since I was already planning to cut the recipe in half, now I need to use just 1/2 of the can of black bean soup, but maybe that will just be lunch. It wasn’t until I opened the can and started putting ingredients together that things got interesting.
This is a very simple recipe. Assemble ingredients, dump in processor, blend. But I’m still not sure about these black beans. What if they’re too soupy? I really don’t want thin dip, so I decide to add beans and liquid a little at a time. Everything but the beans goes into the processor and whirs away happily. I don’t know what the original, 1961 can size might have been, so I spoon out about 1/2 cup of beans and add about 1/4 cup of the bean liquid on top. Into the processor it goes.
It’s looking good and dippable, but still a bit pale, so I add about another 1/4 cup of beans, no liquid. I think it’s done, and so is the can of soup. I strain out the last few beans and dump about a half cup of liquid out. Next time, I’ll skip the soup and try the regular canned beans. Maybe add some garlic powder and thin with chicken broth if necessary.
And will there be a next time? Yes! I’m glad I took the time to play around with this one. It’s surprisingly complex for such a simple and easy recipe. It’s good with pita chips, but would be even better with potato chips (what wouldn’t?) One recommendation: it gets better after the flavors have a chance to meld, so make it early in the day or the night before. Good for game-watching, dinner-fixing, or, considering the source, Gasparilla. 100 guests are optional.
Black Bean Dip
- 1 can black bean soup
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise (or more)
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Mix all ingredients and blend thoroughly in an electric mixer or blender. Serve with corn chips. For a cocktail party, double the recipe for 100 people.