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Monday, January 25, 2010

Throwback of the House: Mexican Bean Dip vs. Erindipity

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM

When my friends get together, we have one rule: Our friend Erin is required to bring corn dip. This dish has no right to be as good as it is: It's Mexicorn, mayo, pickled jalapeños and cheese, baked and served with tortilla chips -- or, better, Fritos.

It's so delicious we've renamed it Erindipity, and we attack it like hogs at the trough.

I keep expecting to find the recipe in one of my old cookbooks since it has all the hallmarks of a great retro party food: canned vegetables, fat, cheese and bubbly, gooey joy. It hasn't happened yet, so I decided to find another recipe that might be as shockingly divine as Erindipity. The 1968 Spin Cookery Blender Cook Book for 10-Speed Push-Button Cyclomatic Osterizer Liquefier-Blender is loaded with creamy dips. Perhaps Mexican Bean Dip can go toe-to-toe with Erindipity.

click to enlarge ROBIN WHEELER
  • Robin Wheeler
In a blender combine a one-pound can of baked beans, cheddar cheese, garlic salt, chili powder, salt, a wee dash of cayenne, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Blend until smooth.

click to enlarge ROBIN WHEELER
  • Robin Wheeler
Placed beside the colorful Erinidipity, the bean dip looks like a big bowl of peanut butter or, worse, something that might have come from a very ill dog. No one wanted to touch this hummus-gone-hillbilly. But we did, and we were disappointed. The sweet flavors of whatever it is the baked beans are packed in overwhelmed all the spices. Except for the liquid smoke. Nothing can overpower liquid smoke. Not even a liquid fire extinquisher. It wasn't horrible, but as Erin said, "It's just weird." Like a fresh version of convenience store canned bean dip.

click to enlarge ROBIN WHEELER
  • Robin Wheeler
We left the bean dip sitting uncovered at room temperature for a few hours. It's not like it was warm to begin with. Or that anyone might get food poisoning by actually consuming it. When we returned, the dip had grown a pudding-syle skin. I gave it a poke, and my finger sunk to the bottom of the bowl. That wasn't a skin; it was just really shiny.

I have no idea what might cause such a high-gloss sheen to form. Maybe the one piece of pork product from the beans? I don't know. I do know that Erindipity reigns supreme, and a full batch of Mexican Bean Dip, minus five bites, ended the night in the trash.

Robin Wheeler writes the blog Poppy Mom and is a regular contributor to Gut Check. After years of making and eating fancy food, Robin is sick of it all. She's returning to the basics: recipes that haven't surfaced in three decades. She reports on the results every Monday.

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