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Monday, 23 May 2011


It’s one of those perplexing days when I can't seem to stop eating. I’ve had breakfast and I’ve had lunch, I've had dessert and I’ve had 2 large cups of tea, and that’s all I’m willing to admit publicly…
I think it’s the weather (ha! always blame the weather, what an English thing to do!) But I really do think it's the weather: It's one of those typically undependable London days when the sun can’t decide whether to come out or stay in. Like the sun, I can’t decide what to do with myself. I have half a mind to go out just to keep me from thinking of food, but who in their right mind wakes up a blissfully sleeping baby? So, I’m thanking the nap-gods for bestowing kindness upon me, and staying in, watching the shadows dart back and forth on my kitchen wall as the English sun plays tricks on me. And while I have no choice but to sit here, and think of food, I might as well make myself a snack and write about it. No?

I’m making myself one of my all-time favourites - an easy, can't-go-wrong, low-risk, ready-in-a-jiffy snack. It's a delicious black bean dip that is hearty, wholesome, and I hope – filling! It’s just the thing for a day like this, as dependable as the English sun is not!

Here's what you need:

-       1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-       1 tspn olive oil
-       ½ cup chopped onion
-       2 cloves garlic, minced
-       ½ cup diced tomato
-       1/3 cup salsa
-       ½ tspn ground cumin powder
-       ½ tspn ground chilli powder
-       ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
-       ¼ cup chopped cilantro
-       1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Empty the beans into a large bowl and partially mash them. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Now add the garlic and sauté until tender. Combine beans, tomato, cumin, salsa and red chilli powder to the onion and garlic mixture, stirring consistently until thickened. Remove from heat, and add cheese, stirring until the cheese melts. I'm using Monterrey Jack because it has a mild, mellow flavour that beautifully complements the sour-spice of the salsa, but also because it melts well, making it ideal for cooking. Finally, add cilantro and lime juice. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Done!  Easy, can't-go-wrong, low-risk, and ready-in-a-jiffy!

Amazingly, the nap-gods are still on my side and I’d be mad not to take advantage of this rare pleasure of snatched time. I’m taking my chips and dip and curling up with a good book. Crunchilicious!

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