Kids, it’s time to get your fancy-pants on.
Because today we’re going where no layered bean dip has gone before. We’re doing it up in a totally modern, fresh, and – yes, fancy-pants kind of a way.
It all started with Geoffrey Zakarian. Well, technically that’s a lie. It really started with this week’s pick for The Food Matters Project, Five Quick Salsas.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against a good salsa. And I happen to think that the five ideas Bittman puts forth in the book (find them here on Alissa’s blog, BIG EATS…tinykitchen and see the rest of the group’s takes here) are great – super-quick and super-simple.
I toyed with the idea of a black bean salsa, and then BAM – I got inspired. I was leafing through my newest cookbook, Town Country, by Geoffrey Z. I adore him, for reasons of which I’m not entirely sure, other than the fact that I thought he kicked major ass on Iron Chef and I love him on Chopped … oh, and he also happens to be Armenian, which he has in common with the sickest human on earth, a.k.a. Daniel.
I got the cookbook for free (!) when we went to dinner the other night at Tudor House, which is one of Geoffrey’s restaurants here in Miami. It was part of one of those Groupon-type deals – I believe this one was Gilt City, which I love – that I have a slight addiction to buying.
Dinner was fabulous – if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend the fried chicken and I’m sure you’ll love the amazing little pretzel rolls with a purple mustard dipping sauce that they bring you to start. There are also a ton of INSANE-ly creative and fun desserts to choose from; my favorite was a buttered popcorn milkshake with homemade salted “kit-kat” that I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to re-create and share with you here.
One of the first recipes I noticed was a truffled black bean purée. Um, hello … we are all aware that I’m addicted to anything and everything truffle, and I felt a bit sad that I hadn’t thought of this pairing myself. He said in the intro that the earthiness of the beans is a perfect match with truffle, and I immediately knew that I would agree. His recipe is more of a side dish, but of course, being the dip and spread-addicted nut that I am, I immediately started dreaming about making a truffled black bean dip happen.
Literally, I started to dream … because you know I was reading this cookbook in bed.
When I woke up, the rest of the components of the dip had magically come to life in my brain, and I was off to the races. Truffled black bean purée, a simple chive-y avocado “salsa”, goat cheese crema, and crispy fried shallots. I know that sounds like a lot to be going on together, but trust me – it works. It works better than you might like, because you won’t be able to stop yourself from eating more and more and more until it’s gone, which could be a problem if you find yourself alone with this vat of deliciousness.
Call friends. Seriously.
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 – 5 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- Splash of white wine vinegar
- 4 avocados, diced
- 1 tablespoon chives
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 7-ounce container crème fraîche
- To make the crispy shallots, heat 1 cup canola oil in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Test the oil by placing a little piece of shallot in the oil; when it starts to sizzle, add the rest. Spread in an even layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned – about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to a paper towel.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic during last 30 seconds, then add beans and stock. Simmer the mixture until the stock evaporates, another 5 minutes or so. Purée using an immersion blender if you have one or transfer to a food processor. Stir in truffle oil and vinegar. Spoon the mixture into a 1.75-quart glass serving bowl. Place in the freezer just to cool it down while you work on the remaining layers.
- Toss diced avocado with chives and lemon juice in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix goat cheese and crème fraîche. If the goat cheese is warm enough, it will combine easily. If not, you may want to mix it in your food processor.
- Once the black bean layer has cooled, take the bowl out of the freezer and add the avocado salsa in an even layer. Next, spread the goat cheese crema and smooth the top. Garnish with the crispy shallots, and enjoy!