This recipe is in honor of my recently horrible diet. I figure by the week's end, I've hit all of the food groups, even if I don't within a day. Last night's dinner was a huge plate of broccoli. Tonight, it was this dip with chips. Well, maybe a lot of this. I feel a little roly-poly...
... but it was worth it! So tasty!
I've been fiddling around with some new ingredients lately. I bought my first jar of crema mexicana last month and tonight was its second use. I also recently purchased some queso fresco, which despite having talked about it before, was used in my kitchen for the first time tonight. That is some good cheese. And when they talk about it being a "crumbling" cheese, they ain't a-kidding. It was so fun! See how it's so beautifully crumbled on top of this dip that's ready to go in the oven?
When it came out, it had melted, but had not lost its integrity (which I appreciate since I'm rather fond of integrity). It has a great flavor, but even better, I love the texture. It's a bit... I'm afraid to say chewy because I don't want you to get a negative connotation. But - dang it, it was chewy, and I mean that in the best sense possible! The bits of cheese were my favorite part of this concoction. It's so velvety and flavorful with these great bits of chewy cheese in it.
I must warn you, though; I think if you are planning on serving it at a party, you might want to bake it in two smaller dishes so that you don't end up with a fight at the dip bowl!
Baked Black Bean Dip
Yield: approximately 2 1/2 cups of dip
1 - 16 oz can of black refried beans
1/2 cup crema mexicana
1/4 cup salsa (drained of excess juice)
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (divided)
2 TBS shredded cheddar
Mix the beans, crema mexicana, salsa, and 1/4 cup of the queso fresco thoroughly in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a shallow 10-inch round baking dish (or other similar sized dish) with cooking spray. Spread the bean mixture into the dish and smooth out with a rubber spatula.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining queso fresco and the cheddar. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Be sure to let cool five minutes before serving. If desired, you can garnish the top with sliced olives (before or after baking) and sliced green onions.
NOTE: If you do not have queso fresco, you can substitute mozzarella cheese. If you do not have the crema mexicana, you may substitute sour cream. Also, be aware that most beans are very salty and pre-seasoned so no additional salt or seasoning is necessary. If the beans you are using, however, do not fall in this category, you can add salt, garlic powder, and cumin to taste.