By Harlene Deane
BLACK BEAN DIP
• 4 bacon slices
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 small red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp. ground oregano
• 2 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
• 1 tsp. chopped, seeded canned chipotle chilies*
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
• tortilla chips*
Cook bacon in a heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Coarsely chop bacon and set aside.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion, bell pepper and saute until onion is soft,
about 6 minutes. Add cumin and oregano, saute 1 minute. Add beans with their liquid and chipotles. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Transfer 1 cup of the bean mixture to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir blended mixture into remaining bean mixture. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
Stir half of bacon into dip. Top with sour cream. Sprinkle with cilantro and remaining bacon. Serve dip chilled or at room temperature. This can be made 2 days ahead. Chill bacon and dip separately.
Makes 4 cups
*Chef notes: Chipotle chilies are available in small cans with adobo (spicy tomato sauce) in the Latin food aisle at Publix. I like to make my own tortilla chips but a great substitute are the corn tortilla chips made by On the Border and are available at Bi-Lo.
PIGS IN A BLANKET
• 1 1/2 pounds of Portuguese chorizo
• 1 pound Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed and cut into
2 by 4-inch rectangles
• Petite pickles or cornichons
• Creole mustard
Preheat oven to 350. Cut chorizo into 2-inch pieces and wrap each piece in a piece of the puff pastry. Press the seam to seal. Place seam-side down, on a baking sheet. Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Serve with pickles and mustard.
Serves: 6-8. Of course, can be doubled.