Friday, December 10, 2010

"Terra Cotta" Dip for Maria

The third of a trio of appetizers I created for open house gallery events for my daughter Maria, this one also has a linkage to Maria's pottery,

Terra Cotta is the Italian term (literally baked earth) for the type of low-fired pottery that Maria does. Actually she makes "majolica," which is terra cotta covered by white slip then decorated with colored slips and glazes. But turn majolica pieces over and the characteristic earthy brick red pottery shows on the bottom.

This spread or dip is made from seven red to redish brown ingredients, which come out a rich earthy red color.

The dip is remotely a Mexican bean dip, so low-salt tortilla chips or crackers go with it.

The recipe makes enough for a large appetizer table for many gallery visitors. Serve it in a terra cotta dish.

"Terra Cotta" Bean Dip for Maria

2 pounds dry pinto beans
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
3 large dried mild red chilies (California or Guajillo)
3/4 cup red wine
2 large red bell peppers
1/2 cup olive or canola oil, divided
1 medium red onion, cut in chunks
1 large clove garlic
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pick over, rinse, then prepare beans. Either do the soak then boil (in fresh water) until tender, or pressure cook dry beans in plenty of water, 30 minutes at full pressure. Let cool.

Discard seeds and stems from chilies. Simmer chilies and dried tomatoes in the wine, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Place chili mixture and liquid in food processor. Puree them, scraping down the side of the container.

Seed red bell peppers, and fry flesh in part of the oil until softened. Add peppers and their frying oil to processor and puree.

Add onion, garlic vinegar, salt and pepper. Puree.

Add part of the cooked beans, lifted from cooking liquid with slotted spoon, to food processor. Puree the mixture and remove to a bowl.

Puree the remainder of beans, along with the remaining oil. Stir into first batch. If too thick add a little of the bean liquid.

After 10 minutes, stir mixture again, then taste it. Add salt, if needed, to make the mixture faintly salty (beans will soak up some more).


Blogger elle pee said...

I love the name o the recipe... it sounds beautiful AND delicious!

hip pressure cooking
making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

10:15 PM  

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