Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baked Black Beans with Chorizo

I found this dish in a recent issue of Cooking Light, and I just had to try it. When you see the title, Baked Black Beans with Chorizo, you may think of the traditional baked beans that are served in a red sauce with hot dogs or pork. This, however, is deliciously different.

I've already made this twice; the first batch was promptly inhaled and devoured by hubby and me. It's a simple enough mixture of ingredients: among them, onions, jalapenos, black beans, Spanish chorizo, and cheese. Something happens to this stuff after you mash it up together and bake it, though. Something magical.

Oh, and I used Manchego cheese to top this the first time I made it. It's a hard, Spanish cheese not too different from Parmesan. I especially loved it on there; it formed a great cheesy crust on top and lended a nice salty tang to the dip. But any cheese would be wonderful, I'm sure. It's great, too, because you have the freedom to mash up the beans as much or as little as you'd like, so the dip can be just the texture you want. We left ours with some substance to it, but it was mashed enough that it was very scoopable (and was fantastic with tortilla chips). It's a great appetizer to serve if you're having people over for tacos!

Baked Black Beans with Chorizo
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 6 servings

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced Spanish chorizo
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (or water)
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped seeded tomato (I omitted)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Manchego cheese (or Monterey Jack)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chorizo; saute for 2 minutes. Remove chorizo from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and jalapeno; saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, cumin, red pepper, and garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Stir in broth (or water) and beans; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Mash to desired consistency. Spoon bean mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Top with chorizo, tomato, and cheese. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with green onions.

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