|Black Bean Dip|
I like black beans both for their own intrinsic taste and for the fact that they are an interesting way to pass on other flavors. Here they are cooked with beer and chiles and served with fried sweet plantains. I prefer a dark or amber beer, which complements the earthy taste of the black beans, but you can use whatever suits your fancy. If you don't feel like making fried plantains, you can always use tortilla chips.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to turn dark, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional 30 seconds. Add the drained beans, beer, vinegar, and water and bring the mixture to a boil. reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are mushy, adding more beer or water if the mixture becomes too dry.
Remove from the heat, add the catsup, cumin, chili powder, mustard, cinnamon, and chile pepper, and mix well. Allow to cool slightly (about 20 minutes), then puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until very smooth.
With the mixture still in the blender or food processor, add the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Blend briefly, just until
well mixed. If the mixture is too thick, thin it with more beer. This mixture will keep, covered and refrigerated, about 4 days.
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