Aug 17, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Creamy Refried Bean Dip

I heart my Kindle. It's one of the best gifts Mr. Official has ever gotten for me, and he's given me some pretty awesome presents over the years.

Not only do I have couple Bible versions, some insightful self-help type books, scads of novels old and new (reading Jules Verne and Rudyard Kipling for the first time as an adult was an absolute delight), but I also have several cookbooks in my carry-everywhere gadget.

And not too long ago, swimmer girl and I were doing a little sunbathing at the local pool and when she glanced over, she exclaimed, "Seriously? You're reading a COOKBOOK? REALLY????"

To which I smiled sagely and said that indeed I was. Doesn't everyone READ cookbooks like they do novels? If not, you should.

Anyway, this was "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker: Recipes for Entertaining" and I bookmarked a few of the most-promising sounding recipes to try. One good one is this one, even though I haven't actually used my crockpot to make it. Irony, I know.

If you have purchased bean dip in the chip aisle, you know how expensive those precious little jars and cans are. And while I think the Tostitos Zesty Bean & Cheese Dip is pretty awesome, a jar can get slurped up in a hurry around here.

This recipe makes a dip that tastes a lot like the Tostitos dip, and with just a few inexpensive ingredients, you have enough dip for a crowd.  Or refrigerated and doled out into ramekins for warming up a serving at a time, it can last several days. Well, theoretically maybe it can last that long. We can go through it in a hurry.

Since discovering this recipe, I've made three batches, including one last night for Bunco as a side dish/dip (I doubled up on the beans in order to lighten it up and make it more side-dish appropriate.   Each time I've made this recipe, the results disappear pretty quick.  That, plus the fact it's easy to make clinches its spot as a go-to recipe in my book!  (Whether that proverbial book is an eBook or my notebook of clipped recipes, which is now much neater than it's been in years.   Speaking of which, I'll show off some before-and-afters soon.)

Creamy Refried Bean Dip

1 16-ounce can refried beans*
1 cup picante salsa (we like homemade or medium-hot Pace Picante best)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
2 cups shredded cheese (any combination of cheddar, Monterey jack or pepper jack)

Mix all ingredients together. Place in small crockpot to heat up (or microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute.) Serve with corn or tortilla chips.  Makes approximately 3 cups of dip.

*To make some jazzed-up refried beans to serve as a side dish, just double the beans for a big batch, or cut everything else in half.   It still has some zippiness without being too heavy on the cheese.

Happy dipping!