Is My Blog Burning #11 – sun-dried tomato and bean dip on polenta

My first thought for this month’s IMBB theme was to make a simple bean dish with homemade tortillas, because fresh corn tortillas are so much better than anything those of us who grew up eating the commercial white flour kind would imagine (just ask anyone who has traveled to a part of the world where they are eaten as daily sustenance). I didn’t get around to it. Instead, I’m going to write about something I made for my housewarming party yesterday.

The bean recipe came from Epicurious.com, with a couple of modifications. I ignored the directions to buy dry tomatoes (not in oil) and rehydrate them with hot water, and I used a stand mixer rather than a food processor, which gave it a chunkier texture. If you don’t have a mixer, you can probably get similar results with a spoon and a potato masher.

This is my version:

1 can of pinto beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2-3 cloves of chopped garlic

1/4 cup of sun-dried tomato slices in oil, strained

salt

Drain the can of beans and pour them into the mixer bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, garlic, and tomatoes, and mix using the flat beater. A warning: start at a slow speed and then increase as the beans get mashed, unless you want them to fly everywhere. I only mention it because I forgot about this problem and immediately turned the mixer to one of the middle settings, only to discover just how well oiled beans can fly.

When the beans seem creamy enough, add salt to your tastes. You can then keep this in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

Now for the polenta. I worked from Julia Child’s directions in The Way to Cook, but it’s pretty simple. 2 cups of polenta meal, 6 cups of water, a teaspoon or so of salt. Pour the polenta and water into pot, and stir with a whisk over medium heat. You can either try to be traditional about it and stir for the entire 45 minutes of cooking, or turn the heat down a notch once it’s simmering, cover the pot, and come back and stir periodically. I went with the first method only because I was cooking other things at the same time. When it’s done, it’ll be thick and gelatinous.

When the polenta is finished cooking, take it off the heat, and pour out onto a large piece of parchment spread on your kitchen counter. Top with pats of butter and grated parmesan cheese (I applied butter and spread the polenta out into an even layer as a single step). Give it a couple of minutes to set and cool, then cut the polenta into squares. Serve with a spoonful of bean dip on top.

I have leftovers of both the polenta and beans, so later I’m going to try a second-day version with toasted polenta (maybe cooked dry in a frying pan to get a crunchy surface).

2 responses to “Is My Blog Burning #11 – sun-dried tomato and bean dip on polenta

  1. Audrey – this sounds really good! I can’t wait until I have more time (I still have a long ways to go with this round-up!) and can take a look at the rest of your blog. I’m a wannabe weaver (I have a loom but haven’t done any weaving in about 4 years). I keep thinking I’ll get back to weaving and start another blog…but I can’t imagine how I would fit it in! I would like to get back to weaving in the near future though. Anyway, this is supposed to be about food! Your bean dip and polenta sounds like something I’m going to have to try. Thanks so much for participating in IMBB 11!

    Cathy

  2. The image of the flying beans made me laugh, because of course, I have done that so many times!

    The dip sounds great!