I planned our Super Bowl menu around this dip. Thankfully, it was very well received! I served it in the skillet and we scooped it out onto individual plates to gobble up with tortilla chips. Some chips may have also been dipped directly into the pan. 😉
The recipe was adapted from a Bon Appétit “healthyish” recipe, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe convinced me to use American cheese slices in the queso layer to help it emulsify and to keep the cheese layer from solidifying.
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 T Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 T apple cider vinegar
For the Queso & Assembly:
2 tsp adobo from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
4 oz yellow American cheese, coarsely grated or chopped or torn if using singles (about 1 cup) (I used 6 Trader Joe’s singles)
3 oz Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
freshly squeezed juice from half a lime
1/4 cup (4 T) sour cream
1/2 cup good-quality salsa, drained if watery (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle salsa)
1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted, diced green chilies or 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
tortilla chips, for serving
To Make the Beans:
Melt the butter, cut into pieces, in a medium deep skillet over medium heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add the chopped onion, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Monitor the heaat, and continue to cook, stirring often, until onion is pale golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
With the pan over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic cloves and cumin. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chopped chipotle chiles, pinto beans, rinsed, and salt. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, mashing beans with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
Cook, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. (Beans should be risotto-like in consistency, loose enough to fall off a spoon.)
Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover and keep warm.
To Make the Queso & To Assemble the Dip:
Whisk adobo, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add chopped/grated American cheese and cook, whisking vigorously, just until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack; whisk until cheese is melted and queso is smooth (return to low heat briefly if needed). (I cooked it over low for about 2 minutes to melt the additional cheese.)
Using your hands to avoid bruising, toss the avocados pieces with lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
Uncover beans and pour queso over.
Top with dollops of sour cream, followed by salsa, diced chilies, and then avocados.
Scatter sliced scallions and chopped cilantro over the top.
Serve dip warm in skillet with tortilla chips.
Do ahead: Beans can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, thinning with water and seasoning with salt as needed.
The only drawback of these flavor-packed chicken burgers is that they have to be pan-cooked in order to keep their shape because they are very moist. Worth the mess!
The original recipe notes that the ginger, garlic, cilantro and scallions incorporated into the burger makes them similar to a dumpling filling. They were fresh and light.
I loved the soy-lime mayonnaise sauce and loads of toppings. I served them with a generous amount of sauce, and jalapeño and avocado slices on potato rolls. There were so many toppings that we forgot to add lettuce! I may even try them topped with arugula next time.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yasmin Fahr. I used freshly ground chicken thigh meat and froze the formed burgers for 20 minutes prior to cooking. We ate them with pickles and chips.
Yield: Serves 4
freezer for 20 min before cooking
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp soy sauce or fish sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 packed cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
1/4 cup mashed, ripe Hass avocado (from about 1/2 avocado; slice the other half for serving)
2 scallions, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, grated, minced, or pushed through a garlic press
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, grated or minced (about 2 tsp)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, to taste
1 pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat (I used freshly ground chicken thighs)
2 T neutral oil, such as canola oil, or ghee
4 potato, brioche, or other burger buns, lightly toasted, as desired
butter lettuce or other tender lettuce, for serving, or arugula
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, for serving, optional
To Make the Sauce:
In a small serving bowl, combine the mayonnaise and soy sauce.
Season with the juice of 1 lime wedge and salt as needed.
To Make the Burgers:
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to mash and thoroughly combine the chopped cilantro, mashed avocado (see Tip), scallions, garlic, ginger, red-pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the soy-lime mayonnaise sauce.
Add the chicken and gently combine. Form into 4 large balls.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes to help maintain the shape while cooking.
Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Add the neutral oil or ghee, then add the chicken meatballs, spacing them out in the pan. (We cooked 2 at a time.)
Use a metal spatula to press them until they form 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Cook without moving for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, until a deep golden crust has formed and they easily release from the pan.
Flip the patties using the spatula and cook until done with a nice crust on the other side, about 3 minutes more. If the patties need more time, cover the pan and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid scorching.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the patties and serve sandwiched between the buns topped with lettuce, a healthy slathering of sauce, avocado slices, jalapeño slices if using, and cilantro sprigs, if desired.
Serve with the remaining lime wedges and mayonnaise on the side.
Tip: Resist the urge to add more than 1/4 cup mashed avocado to the ground chicken, as the burgers will get too soft and fall apart during cooking.
This dish could be made with any assortment of leftover vegetables in the refrigerator. It was healthy and flavorful.
The recipe was adapted from Chetna’s 30 Minute Indian: Quick and Easy Everyday Meals by Chetna Makan. I must mention that prepping all of the vegetables was not taken into account when including this dish in a 30-minute meal cookbook! I did double the recipe though. It was worth the extra time.
I served it over brown Basmati rice with warm naan on the side. Topping it with cucumber raita was also suggested in the original recipe.
Yield: Serves 4
4 T canola or sunflower oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
3 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded, if desired
6 garlic cloves, grated or pushed through a garlic press
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp amchur (mango powder) or tamarind concentrate
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
200 ml (7 oz) boiling water
For the Vegetables:
4 T canola or sunflower oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
12 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
To Serve: (as desired)
brown Basmati rice
warm flatbread such as naan
cucumber raita or whole milk plain yogurt
If desired, mince the jalapeños and garlic in a food processor; remove and set aside. Chop the onions in a food processor; set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan (with a lid available) and add the cumin and mustard seeds as well as the bay leaves.
Once the spices start to sizzle, add the chopped onions with the jalapeños and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Meanwhile, heat the oil for the vegetables in a large frying pan.
Add all of the vegetables and cook them over medium to high heat for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly colored.
Stir the salt, ground spices and sugar into the onions with the tomatoes and cook for a minute.
Add the vegetables and pour in the boiling water.
Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
Serve with rice and/or flatbread, as desired. Top with yogurt or raita, if desired.
I loved the combination of textures and colors from the mix of beans in this creamy dal. The recipe was a “staff favorite” in Food and Wine, contributed by Antara Sinha. It was included an article titled “Good to the Last Sop: Cozy Dinners That Deliver Endless Comfort.” The original recipe includes instructions to make homemade roti to serve with the dal to sop it up. 🙂
We ate this dish with store-bought roti but I included the roti recipe from the original article below. I wish I had made the homemade roti because we tragically did not enjoy the store-bought version. (Homemade is always better!) I served the dal over brown Basmati rice with steamed spinach on the side. Hearty and delicious vegetarian comfort food.
For the Dal:
3/4 cup dried moong dal (split yellow mung beans) (about 5½ ounces)
3/4 cup dried masoor dal (split red lentils) (about 5 ounces)
3/4 cup dried chana dal (split bengal gram) or dried toor dal (split pigeon peas) (about 5¾ ounces)
2 medium-size fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and finely chopped (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
For the Roti:
2 cups atta (Indian whole-wheat flour) (about 8 5/8 ounces), plus more for dusting
3/4 to 1 cup water, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
melted ghee, for brushing
For the Tadka:
3 tablespoons ghee
3 small dried chiles (such as Diaspora Co. Whole Sannam Chillies), or more to taste (I used Bird’s Eye)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
brown Basmati rice, optional
steamed spinach, optional
To Start the Dal:
Stir together moong dal, masoor dal, chana (or toor) dal, salt, turmeric, and 6 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. (I used a medium enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Reduce heat to medium-low; partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until dal is soft and tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add up to remaining 1 cup water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired thickness and consistency is reached.
To Make the Roti Dough:
Stir together atta, 3/4 cup water, and salt in a medium bowl. Knead mixture in bowl until all dry flour is incorporated, adding remaining 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to incorporate flour.
Transfer dough to a clean work surface; knead until stretchy and slightly sticky, 5 to 7 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball, and return to bowl. Cover with a clean towel; let stand at room temperature until dough is smooth and matte, about 30 minutes.
To Season the Dal:
Heat oil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium.
Add cardamom, cloves, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
Add onion and chopped fresh chiles; cook, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned around edges, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add tomato; cook, stirring often, until tomato begins to break down, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add tomato mixture and cilantro to dal mixture; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt.
Cover and keep warm over low.
To Cook the Roti:
Once roti dough has rested, turn out onto a work surface lightly dusted with atta.
Divide dough evenly into 16 pieces (about 1 ounce each).
Working with 1 dough piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered with a towel, shape dough into a ball. Dust ball thoroughly with atta, and flatten slightly. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle until uniformly thin and about 6 inches in diameter. Rotate the disk 90 degrees after each roll, flipping and dusting with atta occasionally to make a perfect circle. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high. Place 1 roti round in skillet; cook until bubbles start to form and bottom is speckled with brown spots, 30 to 45 seconds. Flip roti using tongs; cook until it puffs up completely and is evenly cooked on both sides, 30 to 45 seconds. (Small charred spots are delicious and totally OK.) If roti doesn’t completely puff up, pat the top using a clean towel to encourage it to inflate.
Remove roti from skillet, and brush both sides lightly with melted ghee; transfer to a serving plate. Repeat process with remaining roti rounds and ghee.
To Make the Tadka & to Serve:
In a small skillet, heat ghee over medium-high. Add dried chiles and cumin to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until cumin is toasted and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Divide dal mixture among bowls, and drizzle each portion with desired amount of warm tadka. (I served it over brown Basmati rice.)
Sprinkle with additional cilantro, and serve alongside hot roti and steamed spinach, as desired.
Note: Dal can be prepared (without the tadka) 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.