My first “real” entertaining event after my college years was a housewarming party at my new townhouse in the early 1990s. Back then, not being the avid home cook, I relied upon store-bought fruit and vegetable crudite trays with pre-made dips, pre-made salsa and tortilla chips, cookies and cheesecakes, sodas, beer, and wine. My Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip was my only homemade creation for that evening.
It was a cold, rainy evening in late March. I figured that the weather would deter most of my guests from venturing out. With the exception of two guests who were out of town that weekend, everyone else came happily. Beverages in hand, and in a sunnier party atmosphere inside, my guests started to sample the food buffet.
Bubbling in a giant 1970s avocado green Crock Pot, next to a huge bowl of tortilla chips, my thick and rich and cheesy Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip disappeared pretty quickly. It was a surprise to me because it was so spicy — the way I like it. My guests were ladling the bean dip over plates of tortilla chips and munching happily. The fruit and veggie trays were untouched until the bean dip was gone!
The recipe below is a scaled down version of my Crock Pot party crowd portion. You can certainly double, triple, or quadruple the below! Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. You can serve in a bowl, or ladle over chips on a plate. A heated chafing dish works nice for a buffet as well.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 c red bell pepper, finely diced
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomatoes and green chiles
1 T chipotle puree or adobo sauce
2 cans refried black beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Tabasco sauce if you like it really hot
1 c shredded Monterey Jack Cheese for topping
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese for topping
1. In a chef’s pan, saute the onion and bell pepper in the olive oil over medium-low heat until slightly browned.
2. Add the garlic and saute a minute or two.
3. Add the tomatoes and green chiles, the chipotle puree or adobo sauce, the refried black beans, and the black beans. Heat through over low heat until bubbling. Taste and add Tabasco sauce as needed.
4. Ladle into a serving dish and top with shredded cheese. Broil the top for a fancier presentation.
5. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes about 4 cups of black bean dip. Offer warmed tortilla chips in a large basket. (To warm the tortilla chips, place them on a baking sheet in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 5 minutes.) You can stir in the cheese to melt before serving. If you make this dip a day ahead of your party (don’t top with cheese), be aware that the longer it sits in the fridge, the hotter and spicier it will get! You might want to wait to season with additional Tabasco until you reheat the dip. Then top with cheese and enjoy!
Variations: Stir in some cooked chorizo or shredded cooked chicken while heating. Use fat free or lowfat cheese, or omit the cheese all together. Use fat free refried beans. Use refried pinto beans if you can’t find refried black beans.
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