Ape already touched on this earlier in the week, but I wanted to come back to the ridiculous father-son fight outside of a Buffalo Wild Wings over a bet and the Cleveland Browns that ended in a stabbing. Already displaying a poor sense of judgement by going to a Buffalo Wild Wings when there are perfectly good Quaker Steak & Lubes in Ohio, these fans two broke two of cardinal rules of gambling; don’t gamble with your family and don’t bet on your own team.
I bring this up because this is just more fodder for the moralizers like Bernard Goldberg, who in the latest episode of Real Sports pined for a more civilized time when people wore suits to ballgames and started every conversation with “my dear fellow” before preventing any blacks on the field or in the stadium. Goldberg believes these sort of fan fights are a reflection of a coarser society, that the cruel outside world is ruining the perfect bubble of sportsmanship in the stands. This is of course nonsense, and the fact we make big deal of the small pockets of misbehavior when they do happen shows just how unusual fan violence is. Outside of Braves fans (sorry, baseball) throwing trash on the field last week over an infield fly rule or an entire stadium of Ravens fans yelling the dirty version of what my dad called “bullpucky”, mass organized violence isn’t just around the bend at every game. When 30,000 people die after a bad Seahawks game, then we can say a debased society is ruining sports.
Hot Bean and Chimichurri Dip and South American Choripan Sandwiches
A long day of football often calls for a hearty dip, especially if you don’t feel like mucking over a grill or with a fryer on a particular game day. This is an easy, filling baked bean dip that doesn’t require a lot of hands on time in the kitchen, leaving you plenty of time to wish you hadn’t benched that no-good crumb-bum Kenny Britt on your fantasy team. Adding chimichurri sauce to the beans not only brings a lot of extra flavor to the little legumes, it also works to thin out the mixture to make for easier chip scooping.
Before we start, a few words about chimichurri. There are a lot of bastardizations of chimichurri sauce on the internet. Some call for a cilantro or arugula, others throw in unnecessary ingredients like capers or chipotle, and too many call for the use of a food processor. No. Those recipes are not a classic chimichurri. This is not a South American pesto. Chimichurri is a course, rich sauce meant to let the parsley and garlic shine with just a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes, the weight of the olive oil cut by the sharpness of the red wine vinegar, together creating a perfect balance that enhances the flavor of whatever you use it on; steak, eggs, on plain bread or in this case, on some beans as a dip.
Allow for at least one or two hours to let the chimichurri sauce’s flavor to develop, so either make the sauce in the morning before you are ready to make your dip or the night before.
You will need:
1 cup chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley (approximately one medium-large bunch of leaves)
1 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt (to taste)
dash of ground pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
16 ounces (2 cups) refried beans, preferably low fat vegetarian beans (Don’t worry, you’re adding a bunch of fat back with the chimichurri sauce.)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
15-16 ounces (approximately 2 cups) black beans, drained
1/4-1/2 cup total of shredded sharp cheddar, monterrey jack or pepper jack cheese
Pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream (optional)
In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix together the chopped parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper. Cover and set aside to allow the flavor to develop for at least an hour or two. If making the night before, refrigerate but allow the chimichurri to come back to room temperature before serving.
When ready to make the bean dip, preheat oven to 350º.
Combine the refried beans with the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Do not give into the temptation to add random spices like paprika or put 1/4 cup of cayenne in the beans, you want just a hint of seasoning in your beans as not to overpower the chimichurri sauce.
Spread the refried beans evenly on a medium ovenproof platter, then top with the black beans. Spoon about about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of the chimichurri sauce over the bean mixture. Add a layer of cheese to the desired level of cheesiness.
Place the platter on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the edge of the beans are bubbling.
Remove from the oven and top with guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.
Some of the oil will separate to the bottom of the dish, keeping your beans moist and rich. Don’t worry about it. One of my friends calls that the “ring of awesome” around the dip.
Serves 2-3 very hungry people, 4-5 as a side or not so hungry people.
But what about that leftover chimichurri sauce? Well, it’s an excuse to make one of the greatest of South American sandwiches, a choripan.
You will need per sandwich:
1 fresh chorizo sausage
1 crusty roll
Mayonnaise (optional, traditional in some South American countries)
Either grill or pan fry the chorizo. Once cooked, butterfly the sausage and return to the heat to brown the meat on the inside.
Serve the chorizo on a roll with a hefty spoonful of chimichurri. Perfection, unlike Shaun Suisham’s 2012 season. (Thinks of the ball falling short by a yard, dies all over again typing this post. Realizes it’s another ten days before the Steelers can hope to reach .500 on the season. Dies a little bit inside.)
If you still have some leftover chimichurri sauce, don’t worry. Because it contains so much oil, chimichurri sauce will last about a week in the refrigerator, allowing you to spread it on whatever you like for the rest of your week.
Need more football watching-centric recipe ideas? Find the complete archive of Football Foodie recipes here.