Monday, January 12, 2015

Black bean dip in cheddar cups

A few nights ago, we had friends over to watch one of the World Junior hockey games. Given the reverence with which the games are treated in this part of the world, we decided to serve finger food that could be eaten while watching the action, rather than a sit-down meal. This and a few upcoming posts are dedicated to some of these bite-sized morsels. 

I came up with a finger-food variation on my friend's L black bean dip and grilled pineapple salsa recipe, shown here previously. The guys were pretty excited about the idea that cheese could be turned into a mini serving bowl. Actually, I was too. You can always have a little more cheese in your life.


To make cheddar cups:
Grate about 175g of aged cheddar using the large hole part of the grater. Sprinkle grated cheese onto non-stick baking sheets into circles about 3" in diameter; I used an egg ring to make mine. The cheese should form a thin layer only. Continue until you have about 30 circles, or run out of cheese. Bake each sheet at 400°F for about 8 minutes. The cheese should start to look like lace. 

If you find the cheese is cooking faster on one side of the baking sheet, you can rotate the sheet halfway through. Since the cheese will start to cool and harden as soon as you take it out of the oven, I recommend staggering putting the baking sheets in the oven. 

After cooking, use a spatula to remove each cheese circle, and once just cool enough to handle, gently press it into a muffin tin to create a cup shape. Allow to cool further and harden. 

To make black bean dip:
In a blender, combine 1 can drained and rinsed black beans, 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped, 1T garlic, 1T lemon juice, 1T balsamic vinegar, 1T olive oil, 1T water and a small handful of cilantro. Blend then add salt to taste. If necessary, modify quantities of above ingredients to suit your taste.

To assemble:
Spoon the dip into a ziploc bag. Snip one corner, then pipe the dip into the cheddar cup. Top with a piece of pineapple and cilantro. Tip: You could also grill the pineapple for additional flavour. Serve at room temperature.

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