Friday, May 24, 2013

Rae's Black Bean Dip

There's this restaurant in Augusta, Rae's Coastal Cafe, and it's great. I always get a grilled dolphin sandwich with the yellow rice and black beans. It's about the only time you will find me eating something off the menu without making a single change.

Several years ago, my brother took me out to lunch at Somewhere in Augusta and all I wanted was a turkey sandwich. They didn't have one. How does a bar and grill not have a turkey sandwich? They had a club sandwich... just not a turkey sandwich.

The waitress wasn't impressed with me either.

"I don't see it on here, but do you have a turkey sandwich?"
"Okay, I'll get a club sandwich. But, can I get that without the lettuce, tomato, bacon, ham, and roast beef?"
"So, you want a turkey sandwich?"
"no, I want a club sandwich. But without the lettuce, tomato, bacon, ham, or roast beef."
"I'm sorry?"
"I'd like a club sandwich without the lettuce, tomato, bacon, ham or roast beef."
"We don't have turkey sandwiches."
"I don't want a turkey sandwich. I want a club sandwich, without the lettuce, tomato. bacon, ham, or ro--"
"Or roast beef. Got it."

To this day, nine years later, my brother has not let me live that down. I like to think that I'm a girl that knows what she wants. He likes to think I am fairly high maintenance. Maybe we are both right?

Back to Rae's-- it's a Caribbean restaurant and is great when you don't want to cook or just want to get out from behind the stove. There is bound to be at least one table with friends and the waiters have memories like steel traps, remembering us after being away for years.

They have a bean dip that is served with blue corn chips. It is light, creamy, and yummy. I cooked dinner for a friend last night as both our husbands were out of town. Jerk Marinaded chicken, yellow rice, and black beans-- yum! As an appetizer, I researched a black bean dip.

Allow me to share my modified version, as I went a little off the reservation from the recipe I found on the internet.

Black Bean Dip

1 can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1/4 tsp nutmeg (that's what the recipe called for... you know me.... probably more like one teaspoon. or a tablespoon.)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tabasco sauce (I didn't have any and used 1 tsp of red chili paste, which added some serious heat)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp tahini (I actually had this in the back of my fridge)
splash of chicken broth

Saute garlic, ginger, and onions. Add spices (allspice, cumin, thyme, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon) and "your heat" (tabasco, red chili, Srirachi) and cook until onions are soft.
Add the beans and a splash of chicken broth, cover and cook on low low low low low for five to twenty minutes. You're doing this to heat the beans and let the flavors merry.
Using your food processor, scoop the mixture and blend until desired consistency. I was only going to do half the batch, but when I saw how yummy (and how much it looked like gruel), I went ahead and did the whole thing.

As Dorothy would say, "Do write and speak of your mistakes."

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