Monday, December 7, 2009

White Bean Dip, or, how I nearly starved to death for want of a photo

The mind of a blogger is a dangerous thing.
It all started the other day when we forgot a pot of beans on the stove and cooked them into mush. Nevermind, I said. I'll just turn them into something else. I saw an
interesting pasta sauce the other day that used pureed white beans. But without the scallops or the right cheese or the white wine (I was out) it didn't sound destined for success. I then remembered that a friend had brought over a pureed white bean dip a few months back that had been pretty good. Pretty good, but no wow factor. I wanted wow factor. So I headed back to my lonely writer's garret (fictitious bonus points to anyone who gets this very esoteric musical reference - hint, if you're thinking bananas you're on the right track) kitchen to see what I could do.
Five minutes and six ingredients later I'd discovered bean dip nirvana. Seriously, this recipe turned out so well that I practically licked the bowl. (I would have too, if that big sharp blade from the food processor hadn't scared me off.) If you like white beans this is definitely the dip for you, and since it is, of course I wanted to share it with you. Which means I needed to quantify my "throw it in until it's right" recipe. And that I needed a photo.
Now, how did I nearly starve? It's like this... (subtitled "Why I am never going to be a food stylist")
I was about to sit down to eat my wonderfully smoky and delicious dip (love that smoked paprika) when I realized that the red peppers and red paprika would do very well for the Ruby Tuesday shot I'd been looking for.
Okay, plate the dip in a small bowl. Dump Neatly arrange red pepper slices on a plate. Realize that red peppers on a red plate is ridiculous. Get a yellow plate. Dump Arrange, peppers on the new plate. Rearrange five or six or a million times.
Take pictures of the whole setup.
Concede that today's horrible weather was not exactly bathing my kitchen in lovely soft natural light. Turn on lights. Bump ISO up to 1600 in an attempt to avoid using the flash, thus making all the food appear a wonderfully appetizing shade of orangey-beige. Try again. And again.
Rearrange peppers. Get progressively hungrier. Take a few last shots before giving up in disgust and going off to eat my lunch before it got manhandled to death.
Eat. Ahhh... Bliss...
It really was that good, even after the grand photo fiasco.
Finish eating. Sneak in a few extra spoonfuls. Look at photos. Spend way too much time in photoshop, and finally end up settling for this.
Click to enlarge (you can, but why would you on this one? If you're looking for actual good photographs go here)

Trust me, it tastes way better than it looks. Really.
Robin's White Bean Dip
1.5 cups dried beans, soaked and cooked into oblivion (very mushy) - can substitute 3C canned beans (drained)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl olive oil
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
2-3 tsp lemon juice salt to taste
Saute the garlic until golden. Add paprika and saute over low heat for another 2-3 minutes. .
Dump everything into the food processor. Puree until very smooth.
That's it.
Serve with raw vegetables. Or crackers. Or just with a spoon. Not that I'd know anything about that of course.


Mommy, I'm Home said...

I actually have a pot of beans cooking on the stove right now. If I forget about them and they turn into mush, I might have to make your dip.

Dimple said...

OK, it sounds yummy! But really, you don't know anything about eating it with a spoon? Fess up, now!
Thanks for a morning chuckle!

Jientje said...

Accidents in the kitchen often create the best recipes and it looks like it happened for you! You even made me hungry!

Mojo said...

Awesome! I LOVE bean dip.

And the "lonely writer's garret" is right on the tip of my brain, I swear. I was thinking Gilbert O'Sullivan, but I can't find that phrase in the one song of his that I would have had occasion to quote (Alone Again).

But I used those very words in an email to a writer friend of mine just after New Year's, and I remembered doing it. And a text search of my sent mail bore me out, but there was no reference to where I came across the term.

This? IS gonna bug me all day. I can just tell.

Oh damn, I nearly forgot. The photo was worth starving for. Well okay, maybe not literally starving but definitely worth postponing lunch for. Hell the commentary alone was worth that.

Of course I wasn't the hungry one. Then. Now? (Thanks VERY much.)

Daryl said...

OY .. I cannot tell you how much I hate shooting indoor .. and shooting food, well you need not to be hungry ... sounds yummy and I have to say I think you did an amazing job!

marian said...

yum, yum..thanks for this delish dip recipe :))

Anonymous said...

The photo and the recipe make my mouth water; and I have just eaten!

Rebecca Einstein Schorr said...

It looks good and I am extremely impressed with other people's ability to make a success out of a kitchen mistake.

I'm going to make lunch...

Hootin Anni said... the title of your post. And the dip looks scrumptious.

I posted an ornament...a 50+ year old ornament!

My R T is HERE

Tra La La Boom De Ay said...

hahahahahaaaaahhhhhaaa! You are FUNNY!

Diane AZ said...

I love how creative you were to make the bean dip when you accidentally cooked your beans to mush. Your presentation is beautiful and the recipe sounds delicious!

Jane said...

It looks very tasty and colourful, thanks for sharing:)

Ralph said...

I was under the impression that blogging was not work, but fun...You write about the photo meme angst so well! I find myself always looking at things that will be perfect for this or that meme. It happens always...

Nice dip, most of the time red peppers on a red plate is okay. Unless the details need to be changed for a photo meme, and not your guests...

Patti said...

haha! I love this post, Robin. The way you described how it all evolved is great ~ a fun read.

I like beans, as does Ralph. Maybe we will make this sometime. I've never heard of smoked paprika. Interesting!

I like the photo. The colors are pretty and it's an artistic dumping, I mean arranging, of red peppers.
Don't put down your work!

Happy Ruby Tuesday ~

Leora said...

Love recipes with the word "dump." Looks delicious.

storyteller said...

Looks and sounds so good I can almost SMELL and TASTE the results! Wow ... sounds like YOUR rain event was memorable! I'm delighted to report that the steady drizzily rain falling when I awakened this morning has continued throughout the day ... just perfect to allow the dry earth to soak up the moisture rather than watching the precious wet stuph run off down the gutters. It's been to wet to take Molly for a real walk, but we did go out front for a while where she sniffed around while I took photos ... then played some 'fetch' ... we were BOTH drenched when we came inside ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

Willa @ PixelMinded said...


Annie Jeffries said...

Hummus and peppers. Divine. I don't know which I like better, the look, the smell, or the taste. Oh who am I kidding - the TASTE!!

Maribeth said...

It looks marvelous!

Kim, USA said...

It's 8:04pm here and looking by the picture I am hungry ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

At my tabletop

Carletta said...

When live gives you mushy beans - make dip! :)
Loved the commentary. Right now I'd settle just for the pepper slices.

Shannon said...

Yummy! And so very entertaining as well. You are a woman of many talents!

Cloudia said...

Saw you at Dina's and am glad I came by! The mind of a blogger is indeed special, glad to meet yours :-)

You are most welcome to visit my island of Oahu anytime:


Comfort Spiral

Martha said...

Stopping by early this week! Isn't it amazing what we bloggers (some of us anyway) will do for a great post or photograph? It looks yummy.


EJ said...

Looks really good!

Check out our Ruby Tuesday Travel from the land of the morning calm to the land of the free.

MISSY JANE said...

I love beans dip! so yummy and perfect with a bread. Thank you so much for the recipe, I have been looking for a simple one, I can finally indulge more of that.,

Chubskulit Rose said...

Mnnnn that looks yummy!

Here's my Snowy Chinese RT

ellen b said...

I had to chuckle remembering how people have to wait to eat around here till I get a photo :0)
That looks real good!

kayerj said...

I'll have to goive this one a try. sounds yummy.

Dina said...

Ha, funny story.
It sounds good. I would make it now, but I'm out of olive oil. :)

quilly said...

I don't suppose you want me to respond, "Oh, sounds like hummus made with white beans," so I'll say -- brilliant thinking, Robin! And I'll tell you I have never had a successful food photo shoot yet.

Robin said...

It's a lot like hummus made with white beans instead of chick peas, only with a lot less oil and no tehina, so a lot lower in calories :). The consistency is very similar to thick hummus though.

Marice said...

sounds and look yummy!

u may view mine here

moneythoughts said...

Ladies, this is not something I can sink my teeth into, so I will end this comment here. : )

Dianne said...

it looks delicious!!
and the story of its invention is a saga indeed ;)

Anonymous said...

It looks really good. You've made me hungry now.

Paz (going to look for something to eat)

maryt/theteach said...

Robin, worth reading every word of the post! Great Ruby Tuesday essay! Love the red of the pepper and the burnt yellow of the plate. I marvel that you never thought to just dump the who bean mush down the drain... waste not want not, eh! You must have just known you could make up something delicious! I'll try the recipe! :)

Jael said...

I definately have to try this...;-)

Grace said...

Great post, you have a sense of humor. Very green of you to create a recipe for the beans that had turned to mush. Even though you did not have the original ingredients for another recipe, ie white wine, scallops and cheese. This dip sounds like homemade hummus using white beans, were they canneloni? instead of chickpeas. By the way, I like the title of your blog and the pic of your kitchen counter and island.