Tag Archives: beans

Green Chile Bean Dip

Ah, the joys of simplicity.  Particularly when the tummy starts rumbling and snacks must be pursued.  This tasty dip comprised of refried beans, green chiles and shredded cheese is too easy to be as good as it is.  And yet, 9 times out of 10, if I’m at my parents house rummaging through their pantry for a bite of something, I’ll end up making this dip.  And 10 times out of 10, whomever is around will stop what their doing and help to polish off the entire dish of the stuff.

I’ve been making this bean dip for longer than I remember, but the addition of the chiles I can specifically recall.  I was visiting my grandmother in Arizona for the summer, and she called from work to say that she was bringing her boss (and our family friend) over for cocktails and a bite to eat.  Could we make something quickly and preferably spicy?  My mom got to work and I watched her make this bean dip with the addition of piquant roasted hatch chiles.  Mom wasn’t messing around.  Happy hour was a success and I got to mimicking her technique from that day on.  Momma don’t play 😉  And neither should you, so try out this dip. Continue reading Green Chile Bean Dip

Sonoran Hot Dog


I get it fairly, but I am a hot dog junkie.  I’m talking Tyrone Biggums crackhead junkie for a hot dog.  I love footlongs, Hebrew Nationals, burnt Oscar Meyers around the campfire, red onion laden Grays Papayas, ASU’s Dave’s Dog House with the buttered buns, a charbroiled and blistered dog from Ted’s and a Ben’s Chili Bowl half smoke.  I love them equally and unabashedly.  Even the dirty water dog has a special place in my heart.  So of course, after moving out to the wild, wild west, it was only a matter of time until I discovered the joys of the infamous Sonoran dog.  The dog hails from the Mexico/Arizona border, and features a bacon-wrapped link that is grilled and then topped with a bevy of condiments.  We’re talking pinto beans, shredded cheese, tomatillo and jalapeno salsa, chopped tomato and diced onion to name a few.  Traditionally, these bad boys are served on a sturdy Mexican roll with ketchup, mayo and mustard, but you can choose your toppings according to how you like them and use whatever roll you’d like to get the job done.  I like a sesame-seed hero roll myself.

Although crisping this bad boy up is great on the grill, you can use a rack over a cookie sheet under your oven’s broiler if you are grill-less.  I like to use a natural casing dog as my first choice, and a snappy Nathan’s brand or Sabrett’s brand dog as my second choice, since they cook up so love-er-lee.  But again, with a dog with this much DIY potential, feel free to rock it the way you want it.  Just make sure it’s loaded up, because that is the name of the game.

Sonoran Hot Dogs

4 hot dog links
4 slices of thick cut bacon (mesquite-smoked if you can find it)
1 c. of whole pinto beans
1 tsp. of adobo seasoning
1/2 tsp. of chili powder (can be ancho or chipotle if you like)
1 tbs. of olive oil
4 tbs. of chopped tomato
4 tbs. of chopped onion
1/4 c. of shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, a blend, you name it)
1/4 c. of tomatillo salsa (or other green salsa variety)

tabasco ketchup (optional)
jalapeno mustard (optional)
mexican crema or lime mayo (optional)

Begin by wrapping each hot dog with a strip of bacon.  Cook hot dog on the grill until bacon is crispy and browned on both sides.  Alternatively, you can place a rack over a cookie sheet and cook under your broiler for 7-10 minutes per side.

While the hot dogs are cooking, warm your beans.  Add your beans to a small saucepan with the adobo seasoning, chili powder and olive oil.  Taste for salt and season.

To assemble, squirt bun with a little ketchup, mustard and mayo (if you’d like it).  Top with the hot dog and spoon a few tablespoons of beans on top.  Sprinkle cheese over the beans to melt and then top with tomatoes, onions and tomatillo salsa.  Eat quickly and blissfully before the whole thing falls apart.

Lexi’s Favorite Vegetarian Chili

I know what you’re thinking, folks, “Really, Angela? Vegetarian chili?” But you must, must, must try this, die hard meat eater or no.  My father, who I am sure is 99% dinosaur (and I’m talking the T-Rex variety) loves this chili like no other, and he doesn’t give out the compliments for non-meat dishes lightly.  He’ll even eat this straight up as a main course with not a bit of meat on the side.  If that ain’t a testament to quality, then I don’t know what is.

My dad scored this recipe for my sister, Lexi, who then passed it to me.  It utilizes veggie crumbles, found in the frozen food section with the meatless entrees and veggie burgers.  A solid number of veggies and beer help round out the flavor for a chili that won’t for one second make you miss beef.  Dress it up with some shredded cheddar or sour cream and you are in business.  It true slacker mode, I have eaten this cold with Fritos scoops and guess what?  Still delicious.

PS. This was the first time that my sister had ever been in the kitchen with me for a photo shoot for the blog.  She laughed at how small the plate was that I took the macro photo from.  Even though I have a bigger kitchen now and more natural light, I still shoot small like I did in NYC in the itty, bitty kitchen with not a bit of sunshine to illuminate my food.  This photo above is her demo of the scale of the photo shoot, and not the amount of chili that I gave her as her ration.  She ate two full bowls, thank you very much.

Recipe for

Lexi’s Favorite Vegetarian Chili

4 tbs. of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely choped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle of beer
1 can of vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of pinto beans, drained
1 can of light kidney beans or pink beans, drained
2 large cans of diced tomatoes (can use 3 cans of Ro-Tel for extra kick)
1 c. of spicy salsa
1 handful of tortilla chips, crushed
1/4 c. of chili powder
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of oregano
salt and pepper

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil.  Add the vegetables and sauté until translucent.  Pour in the beer, the stock and the bay leaves and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in the veggie crumbles and let warm while you start opening cans.

Add the beans, tomatoes and salsa and stir.  Mix in the crushed tortilla chips, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes and then taste for salt and pepper.  You can amp up the heat with hot sauce or cayenne pepper if things are too tame.

Serve chili with shredded cheese, chopped onion and diced jalapeno.

Hoppin’ John (Black-eyed Peas and Rice with Collard Greens)

While the French slurp raw oysters and sip champagne for good luck on New Years’ Day, our family would tuck into heaps of black eyed peas, fluffy rice, and collard greens.  It’s amazing – I always considered it a southern tradition, what with black-eyed peas grown in Virginia all the way back to the 1600s.  But apparently the New Year’s tradition dates back to Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), where in the Talmud it’s recorded that the humble black-eyed pea is a good luck symbol.  Apparently, people have been enjoying these little babies for a while.

Hoppin' John (Black-eyed Peas and Rice with Collard Greens) © Spice or Die

This recipe is a spin on Hoppin’ John, a popular dish of rice and peas served not only in the south but in the Caribbean as well.  The dish is sometimes made without the collard greens and often includes a bit of salt pork.  I like the collards because they remind me of my own New Year’s traditions, so I always include them when I can.  This version is absolutely vegan and so very flavorful, you won’t miss the pork one bit.  It’s good as a standalone dish, but if you are jonesing for some protein, try it with a little sliced andouille sausage or kielbasa.  Any way you eat, you’ll be a lucky ducky (if but for having the opportunity to tuck into such a tasty dish!)

Hoppin’ John (Black-eyed Peas and Rice with Collard Greens)

1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 a green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion (white is ok), chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp of fresh thyme
2 tbs. of olive oil
1 tbs. of hot sauce
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
1 cup of cooked collard greens (see note below)
1 c. of enriched long grain rice
1 can of blackeyed peas

Start with a heavy pot with a lid that is suitable for cooking rice (this is one pot cooking, kids!) and heat your two tbs. of olive oil.  Add the celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until translucent. While that is cooking away, drain your black-eyed peas, reserving the liquid in a measuring cup.  Add water to make a little less than two cups of liquid.  Set both the peas and the liquid aside, separately.

Add the garlic, thyme, hot sauce, salt, white pepper and stir.  Add your rice and greens and stir the mixture.  Allow to cook for a minute and then add the peas.  Stir, making sure not to break up the peas and then add the liquid.  Bring to a boil, pop on the lid and turn the heat to low.  Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.  Pull off the lid and fluff with a fork. Return lid and let sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff again and serve.


  • For this recipe, I often use leftover Couve (Brazilian Style Collards cooked in garlic and oil), but if you are starting from scratch, you can always use frozen collard greens.  You can actually nuke them to defrost quickly, drain of an excess water, and then stir them into the rice.
  • Rice is one of those things that you have to trust to cook and not open the pot until the end.  When you open the pot while it’s cooking, you release all the steam inside the pot, which is the secret element to make it fluffy and gorgeous.  Keep the pot closed until the last few minutes of cooking when it’s acceptable to open the lid.  A trick that I use to tell if the water is absorbed without opening the pot is to carefully put my ear next to the bottom of the pot to hear if there is water still bubbling at the bottom.  But be careful – I am not going to be responsible for you setting your hair on fire.  You shouldn’t be using that much Aquanet anyways.