Carrington Bean Dip

This is a recipe from my mom. It’s called ‘Carrington Bean Dip’ in her recipe notebook, but I have no idea where it came from. I believe a friend of the family used to bring it to Thanksgiving, but neither their name nor ours is Carrington, so who knows? What I do know is that it’s perfect for snow days, tv show binges, or anytime you want a hearty, warm, spicy snack.

16 oz. refried beans
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 bunch scallions, sliced
4 oz. sliced black olives
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
Chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper, &c. to taste (The recipe originally called for a package of taco seasoning, which I don’t use. I usually just throw in spices until it tastes good)
6 oz. Monterey Jack or pepper jack or other melty cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the beans, sour cream and cream cheese thoroughly. Stir in the scallions, olives, hot sauce and spices.

2. Spread mixture in a pie pan or shallow casserole dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbling. Let cool 5 minutes and serve with chips, veggies, &c.

Green Chile and Cherry Tomato Pickle

I brought several appetizers from Indian(-ish) by Priya Krishna to a family get-together last night. They were all delicious, and well-loved (and well-eaten), but these tomatoes received the most recipe requests, so here you go! I did not have fenugreek seeds, so I left them out, and I only had two serranos (well, I had three, but I needed one for the peanut chutney), which I quartered, so if you want to make exactly what I made, those are the only differences.

Serves 4

2 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp asafetida
4 long Indian green chiles, or serrano chiles, halved lengthwise
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TB fresh lime juice (from about half a lime)

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add all of the seeds, and cook until they look slightly browned and start to sputter, about 1 minute. Stir in the asafetida and then the chiles. Cook for 2 minutes, until the chiles brown and crisp on the sides.

2. Turn off the heat, mix in the tomatoes, and immediately transfer to a serving bowl so that the tomatoes stop cooking. Gently mix in the salt and lime juice. Serve warm or at room temperature. These will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but are best the same day.